application): The value of many data sets important to the study of aging can be enhanced by combining individual respondent reports with data from various administrative sources. Among the surveys that provide this option are the National Long-term Care Survey (NLTCS), the Longitundial Surveys of Aging I and II (LSOA), the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), and the Asset and Health Dynamics Study (AHEAD). Administrative linkages are now possible with the Medicare Billings File (NLTCS, AHEAD, and LSOA-II), the Medicaid Billing File (NLTCS), and the Social Security Administration's Earnings and Benefits File (HRS and AHEAD), and Disability Claim data (AHEAD). Because the NLTCS, LSOA I and II, HRS, and AHEAD are all panel studies, cumulative respondent reports are also eventually merged with information abstracted from death certificates, usually with a linkage to the National Death Index (NDI). The value-added by these linkages comes at the expense of an increased risk of identifying individual respondents, potentially violating their privacy and confidentiality. To minimize these risks, the investigators who collect and distribute the survey data and the agencies that maintain administrative records have imposed access restrictions on the user community. These data use policies are in flux. Procedures governing access to the linked Social Security-HRS files are place, and similar access restrictions are expected for merged AHEAD-Social Security data as well. HCFA procedures governing access to files merging individual survey data from HRS/AHEAD with Medicare Claims files are under review. The LSOA and the NLTCS have established their own procedures for distribution of data to the research community. The overall goal of Core E is to encourage and guide the use of the richly detailed merged data sets now available while providing PARC with the expertise needed to accommodate forthcoming or changing access guidelines and new data files. The specific goals of this core are to: (1) develop in-house technical expertise to satisfy current and future restrictions on access to data files that include confidential information; (2) facilitate access of PARC associates to protected data files currently available; (3) educate PARC associates as to their obligations to comply with the terms of their access agreements; (4) monitor compliance of PARC associates with the terms of access to various files; and (5) maintain and expand in-house system expertise while simultaneously protecting restricted access files for multiple studies.

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National Institute on Aging (NIA)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1)
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University of Pennsylvania
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Payne, Collin F (2018) Aging in the Americas: Disability-free Life Expectancy Among Adults Aged 65 and Older in the United States, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 73:337-348
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