About the Center for Health Care Data
We are a dedicated team of researchers seeking to better understand the variation of medical costs, patterns of care, and prevalence of health conditions across the state of Texas.
The Center for Health Care Data houses several large datasets that cover health care utilization for more than 65% of the Texas population. Data are made available for approved research studies designed to enhance and expand the body of knowledge regarding the utilization of health care services, quality, costs, payment systems, and policy reform.
Within the center, researchers 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.
Facilities and Datasets
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 operating system vulnerabilities, and centralized event logging and monitoring.
All data are stored on 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.
The Center for Health Care Data has obtained a variety of healthcare data sets which include commercial, Medicaid and Medicare claims and electronic medical records.
Acknowledging the importance of social determinants of health, the CHCD began adding datasets to its inventory that describe education access, healthcare access, social, economic and environmental variables.
Accessing our data
The data sets obtained by the CHCD are available for use in projects that relate to the CHCD’s mission in academic and public policy research, but not for commercial or competitive purposes. As per our legal agreements, we have criteria that each requestor needs to meet in order to use the healthcare data. Our policies and procedures to request access to the data include the following:
- Before drafting a proposal, inform the Center for Healthcare Data at CHCD@uth.tmc.edu about your interest to determine the feasibility of your project and possible project overlap. Specify the data set, years needed, and the research question you propose to address. We will reply with whether the project is within our scope or needs modification.
- Letter of interest: Submit a one-page letter of interest with a statement of the research question and why the data is needed.
- Application: Once the letter of interest is approved, complete the application.
- Once the application is approved, submit the signed confidentiality agreement (DUA) and the project IRB approval for all involved in the project.
- Medicare and Medicaid requests will need to fill a form (please request) which will be submitted to the Health and Human Services Commission. Approval from HHSC is required to gain data access.
Texas All Payor Claims Database
UTHealth School of Public Health has been named as Administrator for Texas APCD. More information on the Texas APCD can be found here, including registration forms, data submission guides and the stakeholder advisory group.
The Center for Health Care Data is located at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health. To contact someone with the center, please email CHCD@uth.tmc.edu.