Identifying ways to link Medicare and Medicaid data is a critical step toward integrating care for dual eligibles. Without access to Medicare data, state Medicaid agencies have only a limited picture of the dual eligible population. The availability of linked Medicare and Medicaid data can help highlight areas where integration can make a difference, such as identifying ways to reduce service fragmentation and avoidable utilization. Uncovering these opportunities can help build the case to state and federal policymakers for encouraging enrollment of additional dual eligibles into integrated care programs.

This technical assistance brief provides practical information about the types of Medicare data available, how to access these data, and how to use the data to better understand the dual eligible population and uncover opportunities to improve care. The brief:

  • Outlines Medicare data available through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC);
  • Explains the process for obtaining Medicare data from ResDAC;
  • Describes the CMS Coordination of Benefits Agreement (COBA) and how it can be used to obtain Medicare claims data;
  • Provides an overview of how Medicare and Medicaid data can be linked; and
  • Examines the value of integrated data to support improvements in care for duals.