The Department of Health and Human Services has posted a solicitation to contractors for the design of an all-payer, all-claims database to support comparative effectiveness research.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act appropriated $1.1 billion for a variety of programs to assess the strengths and weaknesses of various medical treatments.

The notice on the government's Federal Business Opportunities Web site states, in part:

"There exist a number of databases with longitudinal claims data that could facilitate analysis of such data for CER purposes. Each, however, has limitations in its application to CER. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Integrated Data Repository (IDR), Chronic Conditions Warehouse (CCW), and Medicaid claims files (MAX) databases include data only on the Medicare and Medicaid populations; state-based all-payor, all-claims databases are limited geographically in scope and by variability in infrastructure design and state capability; private databases may include information on a more demographically diverse population, but are still fragmented and often inaccessible to researchers due to cost.

"An all-payor, all-claims database would allow for greater power in analysis, ensuring that the data infrastructure the Secretary supports will be able to produce robust analysis. If developed well, this database would be a representative sample of the population and could be built upon over time. The public commentary at FCC listening sessions affirmed the value of an all-payor, all-claims database. Claims data, especially if established in a manner where it can be linked to other data over time, can be powerful a tool for CER and ultimately improve care for all Americans.

"Given the breadth of potential options for building an all-payor, all-claims database and the significant investment required to do so successfully, HHS will award a contract for a targeted design study to inform the creation of such a database and supporting services, methods, and skills."

For the complete notice, click here.

--Joseph Goedert

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