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Survey Data

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The Online Survey Certification and Reporting (OSCAR) file was an administrative database of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)for many years. Effective July 2012, survey data has been replaced by the Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reporting (CASPER) system and the Quality Improvement Evaluation System (QIES). CASPER/QIES are part of a large relational database operating within CMS' Automated Survey Processing Environment (ASPEN).

To download the skilled nursing facility (SNF) survey data file layouts in both OSCAR and CASPER/QIES formats, and related forms, click here.

The administrative purpose of survey data is to support the survey and certification function. Thus, every "institutional" health care provider in the United States that is certified to provide services under either Medicare or Medicaid (or both) is listed in survey data.

Different types of providers have to report different information during the survey and certification process. As a result, survey data is a very rich source of information on some types of providers and not on others. The number of variables in the file reflects the intensity of the survey process for that provider type. The most extensive data in survey data is for nursing homes, due to the fact that the nursing home survey process is quite rigorous.

When facilities are surveyed, the new survey data overwrites the previous data, limiting the usefulness of survey data as a research database. To eliminate this problem, Cowles Research Group (CRG) routinely purchases and archives the complete survey data database. An overview of the contents of the survey data for nursing homes can be found in the Nursing Home Statistical Yearbooks.

For more information about survey data, please contact us.

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