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Data Resources


Data Resources & Measurements

The Texas RCMAR provides mentorship to scholars with research focused on the health and aging in minority elderly populations with special emphasis on the Hispanic population in the United States and Mexico. Pilot grants will place priority on the analysis of existing NIH-funded large community studies such as the Hispanic EPESE, the Mexican Health and Aging Study, and the Health and Retirement Study.

The currently available survey-Medicare linkage data include 2000-2013 HEPESE-Medicare; 2011-2015 NHATS-Medicare; 1992-2012 HRS-Medicare; 1994-2013 NHIS-Medicare; and 1999-2013 NHANES-Medicare. Other surveys linked to Medicare are The Second Longitudinal Study of Aging (LSOA II); the 2004 National Nursing Home Survey (NNHS); and the 2007 National Home and Hospice Care Survey (NHHCS).

RCMAR will also support Scholars using UTMB Epic® web-based electronic health record (EHR) system with more than 2.7 million encounters for scheduling and registration, clinical documentation, order entry, electronic prescribing, results reporting, care coordination, charge, and billing. Through the newly developing UTMB discover, analysts will be able to identify a study cohort and pull demographics, diagnosis, procedures, lab results, medication, and information on the notes through a natural language process from the Research DataMart.

Sources of Survey and Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Datasets

Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiological Study of the Elderly (HEPESE)
Ongoing population-based epidemiologic study of 3,050 Mexican Americans aged 65 and older living in 5 US Southwestern states. The study provides socio-demographics, health and psychosocial characteristics, and health care needs to estimate prevalence and incidence of major conditions and disabilities, mortality,  and change in health over time. Ten waves have been collected (1993/94-2021) for participants and 3 waves for the interviewed focal relatives/informants (201/11-2021).  The HEPESE data from waves 1 through 8 is available in the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging and available at: K. Markides is PI.
Long-term Health Outcomes in Mexican American Older AdultsThis is an ancillary study to the HEPESE, funded by the National Institute on Minority and Health Disparities (R01MD010355) that links the survey with Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) files to study the long-term health outcomes, healthcare utilization, and life expectancy, with a focus on the impact of frailty and disability. The link with CMS files allows gather information on health resources use, chronic diseases, hospitalization, and the use of skilled nursing and other post-acute services. S. Al Snih is PI.
Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS)National representative sample of Mexicans aged 50 years and older (2001-2021) examines the aging processes and its disease and disability burden. Funded by NIA (AG018016-15). The study compares the health dynamics of older Mexicans with comparably aged Mexican born migrants in the US and second-generation Mexican Americans to assess the durability of the migrant health advantage. Ancillary studies obtained blood samples and anthropometric measures, saliva and hair samples to study genetics, dementia, and environmental exposure; also includes the Cognitive Aging Ancillary Study (Mex-Cog). Six waves of data (2001, 2003, 2012, 2015, 2018, and 2021) have been collected and the data is available on the MHAS web page at http://www.mhasweb.orgR. Wong is PI.
Health and Retirement Study (HRS)This longitudinal panel study surveys a representative sample of ~20,000 Americans over the age of 50 every two years. Supported by the NIA - (U01AG009740) and the Social Security Administration, the HRS explores the changes in labor force participation and the health transitions that individuals undergo toward the end of their work lives and in the years that follow. Since its launch in 1992, the study has collected information about income, work, assets, pension plans, health insurance, disability, physical health and functioning, cognitive functioning, and healthcare expenditures. Conducted by the University of Michigan, the study is available for researchers and analysts at
National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS)This is a longitudinal study of a nationally representative sample of Medicare beneficiaries ages 65 and older. The NHATS started in 2011 and five rounds have been collected. Annual, in-person interviews collect detailed information on the disablement process and its consequences. The NHATS promotes research to guide efforts to reduce disability, maximize health and independent functioning, and enhance quality of life at older ages. The study provides the basis for understanding trends in late-life functioning, how these differ for various population subgroups, and the economic and social consequences of aging and disability for individuals, families, and society. The data is available at (
National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)This is a cross-sectional household interview survey, representative of the United States, conducted every year by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) since 1960, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The purpose of this survey is to monitor the health of the non-institutionalized, civilian population. Sampling and interviews are continuous throughout each year. The NHIS includes a representative sampling of households and non-institutional groups. The NHIS sample is drawn from each State and the District of Columbia. The study collects information on socio-demographics; physical and mental health status; chronic conditions, including asthma and diabetes; access to and use of health care services; health insurance coverage and type of coverage, health-related behaviors, including smoking, alcohol use, and physical activity; measures of functioning and activity limitations; and immunizations. The data is available at
Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS)This is a continuous, in-person survey of a representative national sample of both institutionalized and non-institutionalized Medicare beneficiaries that has been occurring since 1991. Data is obtained from multiple in-person interviews and through linkage to Medicare claims files. The data is collected for four years (as participants complete and exit the survey, new ones are enrolled) with a rotating cohort design. The MCBS contains information on Medicare beneficiaries’ usual sources of care, satisfaction with care, access to care, use and cost of all types of medical services, health insurance, living arrangements, income, health status, and physical functioning. The data is available at
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)This is a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States beginning in 1960. The survey combines interviews and physical examinations. Beginning in 1999, NHANES became a continuous survey without a break between cycles. The survey includes demographic, socioeconomic, dietary, and health-related questions. The examination component consists of medical, dental, physiological measurements, and laboratory tests. All data is available at
Medicare – Beneficiary Summary File (BSF)It contains demographic and enrollment information about each beneficiary enrolled in Medicare during a calendar year (beneficiary’s unique identifier, state and county codes, zip code, date of birth, date of death, sex, race, age, monthly entitlement indicators (A/B/Both), reasons for entitlement, state buy-in indicators, and monthly managed care indicators). In addition, we have three segments under the beneficiary summary file: Chronic Conditions segment, Other Chronic or Potentially Disabling Conditions segment, and a Cost & Utilization segment. (
Medicare – Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) FileIt has information on inpatient hospital and skilled nursing facility (SNF) final action stay records. An inpatient "stay" record summarizes all services rendered to a beneficiary from the time of admission to a facility through discharge. Each MedPAR record may represent one claim or multiple claims, depending on the length of a beneficiary's stay and the amount of inpatient services used throughout the stay (
Medicare – Outpatient Standard Analytical File (OUTSAF)It contains institutional outpatient providers, such as hospital outpatient departments, rural health clinics, renal dialysis facilities, outpatient rehabilitation facilities, outpatient rehabilitation facilities, and community mental health centers. The claims include diagnosis (ICD-9), Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes, dates of service, reimbursement amount, outpatient provider number, revenue center codes, and beneficiary demographic information (
Medicare – Carrier FileIt contains final fee-for-service claims submitted on a CMS-1500 claim form. Most of the claims are from physicians, physician assistants, clinical social workers, and nurse practitioners. Claims for other providers, such as free-standing facilities are also found in the Carrier file. Examples include independent clinical laboratories, ambulance providers, and free-standing ambulatory surgical centers. The claims include diagnosis and procedure (ICD-9, CMS HCPCS codes), dates of service, reimbursement amounts, provider numbers (e.g., UPIN, PIN, NPI), and beneficiary demographic information.

Contact Us

Kelley Prevou Sitgreaves, Research Project Manager
Phone: (409) 747-1987
Fax:  (409) 772-8931
Mailing address:
Rebecca Sealy 6.622 4.530
301 University Blvd.
Galveston, Texas 77555-0177

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Last updated: March 28, 2024

The Texas Resource Center on Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) is based at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). It includes mentors from UTMB, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and the University of Texas at Austin. Funding is provided by the National Institute on Aging, Grant Number P30AG059301. Contact Roxann Grover, MA regarding updates to this content.