Center for Healthcare Data

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The Center for Healthcare Data houses several large datasets that cover health care utilization for over 65% of the Texas population. Data are made available for approved research studies designed to enhance and expand the body of knowledge regarding utilization of health care services, quality, costs, payment systems, and policy reform.

Within the center, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas - University of Texas School of Public Health Payment Systems and Policy Research Program houses the BCBSTX dataset. The program was funded by a $1.5 million grant from BCBSTX. Researchers in the program work to foster research and inform the public, academia, and other constituents about health care costs and utilization with the goal of contributing to the discussion on improving efficiency and controlling health care costs in Texas.

Additionally, the Center for Health Care Research Data provides consultative and analytical services to the state of Texas, and has certification as a CMS Qualified Entity. Read more about CMS Qualified Entities here.

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Medical & Pharmacy Claims

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX)

2008-2016 data available for more than 3 million individuals and over 11 million unique individuals. Comprises 1/3 of the commercial insurance in Texas. Contains all medical and pharmacy claims for BCBSTX members living in Texas under 65 years of age. Data updated annually. 

Truven Marketscan®

2011-2015 administrative claims data for 98,691,849 unique members. The Truven Health MarketScan® Research Databases capture person-specific clinical utilization, expenditures, and enrollment across inpatient, outpatient, prescription drug, and carve-out services. The data come from a selection of large employers, health plans, and government and public organizations. The annual medical databases include private-sector health data from approximately 350 payers. Historically, more than 20 billion service records are available in the MarketScan databases.

Truven Marketscan® HPM

The MarketScan® Health and Productivity Management (HPM) Database contains integrated data regarding workplace absence, short-term disability, and workers’ compensation for almost three million employees. This information is linkable to the medical, pharmacy, and enrollment data in the Truven MarketScan claims database for these employees. The result is a unique resource that can be used to examine health and productivity issues for an employed, privately insured population.

Texas Medicaid

2010-2013 enrollment, medical and pharmacy claims data for 4,045,104 unique members. The UTHealth Center for Health Care Data is the designated data repository for the Medicaid program in the State of Texas.


Standard medical and clinical data gathered from large multi-specialty practice and several hospitals providing clinical information and treatment documentation.

CERNER Health Facts

2000-2016 data for 69,117,801 unique members, covering treatment events in hospital inpatient and outpatient settings as well as ambulatory practices that use the Cerner EMR.  Data are national.  Data elements include specific detail including recorded times, procedures, lab or clinical values, charges, etc.  This is an excellent source of data for analysis of treatment practices, adverse events, and processes.

UTHealth Practice Data

UTHealth has over 1500 multi-specialty physicians servicing the greater Houston area, and is the largest physician provider group in Texas.  The EMR data from 2013 to present offers insight in treatment practices, charges, referral patterns, utilization of resources, and quality.


Texas Department of Insurance (TDI)

The TDI provides the Center with aggregated data received from carriers in Texas who are required to report payments for select services by region. 2015 data available.

Texas Health Care Information Collection (THCIC)

These data includes information on inpatient and outpatient discharges from Texas hospitals, including patient and facility characteristics, diagnoses, procedures, and charges.

Texas Worker's Compensation Commission (TWCC)

These data focus on workers’ compensation claims filed within the State of Texas and detail specifics related to the injury, the case, and the treatment services provided.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the nation's premier system of health-related telephone surveys that collect state data about U.S. residents regarding their health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services. BRFSS includes data for all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories. BRFSS completes more than 400,000 adult interviews each year, making it the largest continuously conducted health survey system in the world.  These data are survey, subjective data that are useful to reflect population perceptions, behaviors, demographics, and other population health components

UT Physicians Billing Data

The Center has received comprehensive billing data for the largest physician provider group in Texas, which offers information on charges, payments, and work units for a multi-specialty practice, inpatient and outpatient services. 


Systems are protected by a comprehensive IT Security Program that includes physical and virtual firewalls, network segmentation, data loss prevention monitoring, next generation anti-virus/anti-malware products, active security scanning for OS vulnerabilities, and centralized event logging and monitoring.

All data are stored on the University designated servers, located within a secure university setting and are properly monitored and maintained by qualified university IT personnel. Support services include the University Information Technology Department which maintains the servers and the computers and the University faculty members who provide guidance on data use, interpretation, and application.

Access is limited only to authorized users.

How to Apply

Our policies for accessing the data include the following:

  1. Letter of intent to Trudy Krause ( or Cecilia Ganduglia-Cazaban ( specifying datasets of interest and purpose.

  2. Research proposal & 1 page summary
  3. A detailed list of minimum necessary data elements and data sources required for the study
  4. A research project timeline to be approved by the Center Director

Different datasets have additional requirements set up by original data owners. Please inquire. Data is available with limitations to UTHealth researchers and students.

To be provided final access to all research projects:

  • An approved IRB from the University of Texas.
  • All data users must sign a DUA and agree to use the data under the established guidelines.

Once the research project is approved by the Center Director, Center staff will extract the minimally-necessary data for the researcher and store it in a secure site on the server to which the researcher(s) will be authorized. No data may be copied or downloaded to any location other than the designated folder on the server. Servers may be accessed by designated computers within the Department or by secure VPN access for approved users.

Contact us

The Center for Health Care Research Data is located at the UTHealth School of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Texas.

Trudy M. Krause, DrPH, MBA, CPHQ
Associate Professor
(713) 500-9190

Cecilia Ganduglia Cazaban, MD, DrPH, MPH
Assistant Professor
(713) 500-9486