The 2004 National Long Term Care Survey (NLTCS) was the sixth and final round of a nationally representative longitudinal survey of elderly Medicare enrollees, and the fourth round of the survey conducted by Duke University. Field operations for all rounds were handled by the U.S. Census Bureau. The 1982 and 1984 rounds were conducted by CMS (HCFA) in conjunction with ASPE. The 1989, 1994, 1999, and 2004 rounds were conducted by Duke University with funding from NIH/NIA, with supplemental funding by ASPE. NLTCS records from all rounds were linked to Medicare records beginning in 1982 and extending forward in time to the latest available calendar year. Partially de-identified versions of the linked Medicare files were and continue to be edited and prepared for use by researchers who meet the CMS requirements for Data Use Agreements covering the use of such data under the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
The specific aim of this one-year R03 application is to perform corresponding file editing and data processing needed to enable similar data release protocols to be put in place for Medicaid files (i.e., the 2004-2009 MDS and OASIS files, and the 2004-2007 MAX files) linked to the NLTCS sample for all participants who were alive anytime in the period 2004-2009. Negotiations will be conducted with CMS and NIA to ensure that the linked Medicaid data are assembled in a form that meets the requirements of both agencies with respect to dissemination to approved researchers with CMS Data Use Agreements. This will ensure that these data have the broadest possible dissemination allowed under current law, and will do so in a manner that will quickly enable a broad array of secondary analyses of linked NLTCS-Medicaid data that would otherwise not be feasible. Such secondary analyses have strong potential to further advance research in two NIA priority areas: the dynamics of health and disability;and long-term care.
The NLTCS is the premier source of information on LTC disability among the elderly in the U.S. Medicaid is the largest source of payment for LTC services in the U.S. Making the NLTCS- linked Medicaid records available to the research community will lead to a better understanding of the costs, types, and impacts of the Medicaid services being delivered.