Newswise — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced changes to data access policies for researchers, substantially increasing costs and significantly limiting access for institutions. 

Tobias Gerhard, a professor of pharmacy and epidemiology at Rutgers Health, is director of the Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, which houses many researchers using these data to improve the health of the public.

Daniel Horton, an associate professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at Rutgers Health, is the faculty director of the Institute’s Survey/Data Core, which offers researchers at Rutgers and elsewhere access to a range of Medicare and Medicaid data to support research projects in a secure computing environment at a reasonable cost.  

On behalf of more than 30 health researchers and trainees at Rutgers and partner institutions, Gerhard sent a letter on April 9 to CMS leadership to emphasize how the policy changes will negatively impact health research. 

Gerhard is available for interviews and the following quote is available for pickup:  

“The proposed CMS data policy changes will have significant negative impact on the quality, feasibility and efficiency of health research and the people who benefit from this research, including the American public. The proposed policy changes will make important research data more expensive and more difficult to access for institutions across the country, particularly for students and early career investigators, and will lead to fewer, less ambitious, and less valid research studies. We are urging CMS to reconsider this policy change and continue to make data available to researchers.”

Horton is available for interviews and the following quote is available for pickup: 

“The Rutgers Institute for Health has securely maintained CMS data locally for over 15 years. These data resources have enabled cutting-edge research at Rutgers and elsewhere, and this research has had measurable impacts on health policy and the quality of medical care. CMS's recently announced policies will force Rutgers and many other institutions to throw away these resources, wasting years and millions of federal dollars in investments. These policies put at risk future discoveries as well as efforts to train the next generation of researchers, all at the expense of American taxpayers and the American public.”