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CMS releases the first ever Public Use File for the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS)

The MCBS 2013 Access to Care public use file (MCBS PUF) provides the first publicly available MCBS file for researchers interested in the health, health care use, access to and satisfaction with care for Medicare beneficiaries, while providing the very highest degree of protection to the Medicare beneficiaries’ protected health information.  Celebrating 25 years of continuous data collection and the completion of over 1 million interviews, the MCBS is a continuous, in-person, longitudinal survey of a representative national sample of the Medicare population.  As the largest federal health survey of the Medicare population, the MCBS plays an essential role in monitoring and evaluating key aspects of the Medicare program and is the leading source of information on Medicare and its impact on beneficiaries.

The MCBS PUF is prepared from data collected in 2013 from over 13,000 community dwelling Medicare beneficiaries and contains standard demographic variables, such as age categories, race/ethnicity and gender, as well as information about health conditions, access to and satisfaction with care, type of insurance coverage, and information on utilization, such as the number of fee-for-service claims per beneficiary for certain health care event types. Additionally, the file was designed to facilitate use of the file to explore issues related to health equity and health disparities.

The MCBS 2013 ATC PUF is available free for download.