IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Creation of public use files: lessons learned from the comparative effectiveness research public use files data pilot project


  • Erdem, Erkan
  • Prada, Sergio I


In this paper we describe lessons learned from the creation of Basic Stand Alone (BSA) Public Use Files (PUFs) for the Comparative Effectiveness Research Public Use Files Data Pilot Project (CER-PUF). CER-PUF is aimed at increasing access to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare claims datasets through PUFs that: do not require user fees and data use agreements, have been de-identified to assure the confidentiality of the beneficiaries and providers, and still provide substantial analytic utility to researchers. For this paper we define PUFs as datasets characterized by free and unrestricted access to any user. We derive lessons learned from five major project activities: (i) a review of the statistical and computer science literature on best practices in PUF creation, (ii) interviews with comparative effectiveness researchers to assess their data needs, (iii) case studies of PUF initiatives in the United States, (iv) interviews with stakeholders to identify the most salient issues regarding making microdata publicly available, and (v) the actual process of creating the Medicare claims data BSA PUFs.

Suggested Citation

  • Erdem, Erkan & Prada, Sergio I, 2011. "Creation of public use files: lessons learned from the comparative effectiveness research public use files data pilot project," MPRA Paper 35478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:35478

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Prada, Sergio I & Gonzalez, Claudia & Borton, Joshua & Fernandes-Huessy, Johannes & Holden, Craig & Hair, Elizabeth & Mulcahy, Tim, 2011. "Avoiding disclosure of individually identifiable health information: a literature review," MPRA Paper 35463, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Public use files; PUFs; re-identification; de-identification; Medicare claims; comparative effectiveness research; confidentiality; data utility;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • C4 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:35478. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.