New DQ Atlas Helps Researchers and Policymakers Gain Insight into the Quality of the New National Data System for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program

New DQ Atlas Helps Researchers and Policymakers Gain Insight into the Quality of the New National Data System for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program

Aug 03, 2020
Data Quality Atlas

Mathematica is pleased to join the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in unveiling DQ (data quality) Atlas, a new tool for policymakers, analysts, researchers, and other stakeholders who want to use administrative data to conduct insightful, methodologically sound analyses of Medicaid and CHIP. An interactive web-based tool, DQ Atlas gives users accurate, extensive information on the quality of program data on enrollment, claims, expenditures, and service use. This tool builds on Mathematica’s body of work supporting CMS in its effort to transform the delivery and quality of health care for low-income individuals and families, people with disabilities, and older Americans.

Through visualizations such as charts, maps, and other displays, DQ Atlas helps users to determine whether data in the Transformed Medicaid Statistical Information System (T-MSIS) Analytic Files (TAF) can meet their analytic needs. DQ Atlas can be used in two ways: (1) users can select one or more topics, such as program enrollment and expenditures, to see assessments of the data on these topics for all states and territories; and (2) users can select a state to see assessments of the data on all relevant topics. Users can download DQ Snapshots, which summarize the data for all states and topics. The inaugural version of DQ Atlas has information about the quality of calendar year 2016 data, and it will be updated as data from more recent years become available.

DQ Atlas bridges the challenging divide between the development of uniform national data systems for state-run programs and rigorous, sound research,” said Carol Irvin, a senior fellow at Mathematica who directs the ambitious T-MSIS data analytics effort funded by CMS. “The interactive interface, in particular, makes the tool very intuitive and engaging for the research community and other stakeholders as they seek to use data to understand the outcomes and performance of the Medicaid and CHIP programs.” Once the 2017 and 2018 become available later this year, the site will be updated to include the same type of data quality information for all years of available data.

T-MSIS is a new, comprehensive national data set on Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries, including the services that they use and associated costs and the providers and managed care plans who serve them. All states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands report T-MSIS data monthly to CMS. Late last year, CMS and Mathematica celebrated a significant milestone with the public release of the TAF for calendar year 2016.

Under CMS’s Medicaid and CHIP Business Information and Solutions (MACBIS) Business Analytics and Data Quality Development project, Mathematica’s team of health care policy and data experts designed, developed, tested, and implemented DQ Atlas. Mathematica also supports CMS in building infrastructure for robust data analytics through which federal and state data are integrated to support policy decisions about Medicaid and CHIP. DQ Atlas is the latest product in this multiyear partnership with CMS that focuses on data quality as a component of robust analyses based on the TAF data.

In addition to Mathematica’ experts in health care policy and programs, the DQ Atlas team includes designers and web developers led by program analyst Anna Bickers and senior analytics solutions architect Rahul Kumar. Other staff who have contributed significantly to the development of DQ Atlas include Paloma Newcombe, Allison Barrett, Cara Stepanczuk, and Stephanie Tuerk.

Learn more about DQ Atlas.