SEER-Medicare: Cost of Acquiring Data

The SEER-Medicare data files are created by Information Management Services, Inc. (IMS), the information technology contractor for NCI. Outside researchers are asked to reimburse IMS for the cost of producing the data, as listed below.

The quoted costs are for files containing cancer cases that are newly diagnosed in each year. Other analyses, such as identifying all persons who died of a selected cancer in a year, may require special programming at additional cost. Please note that IMS cannot undertake extensive special programming. Additional cleaning and data modification are the responsibility of the investigator. IMS will begin processing a data request upon receipt of payment. Completed datasets will be shipped by UPS ground.

All charges will be periodically reviewed to determine whether they are fairly recovering IMS's costs and may be changed without notice.

  Cost of Cancer Data File (including Data Production & Media Charges) Cost of Non-cancer Data File (including Data Production & Media Charges)
SEER Cancer Data
Cancer File $250 N/A
5% Cancer File $150 N/A
Medicare Enrollment
Master Beneficiary Summary File (MBSF)-Base (A/B/C/D) included $200
Chronic Conditions Flags $125 $125
Other Chronic or Potentially Disabling Conditions $100 $100
Part D Plan Characteristics File-Base, Premium, Cost Sharing Tier, Service Area, Special Needs Plans, Multi-year Crosswalk Files $200
Medicare Claims and Events Files
Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) $125 $75
Carrier Claims (NCH)- Base, Line, Demonstration/Innovation Code Files $100/year $225
Outpatient (OUTPAT)- Base, Revenue Center, Condition Code, Occurrence Code, Span Code, Value Code, Demonstration/Innovation Code Files $75/year $225
Home Health Agencies (HHA)- Base, Revenue Center, Condition Code, Occurrence Code, Span Code, Value Code, Demonstration/Innovation Code Files $275 $150
Hospice- Base, Revenue Center, Condition Code, Occurrence Code, Span Code, Value Code, Demonstration/Innovation Code Files $275 $150
Durable Medical Equipment (DME)-Base, Line and Demonstration/Innovation Code Files $275 $150
Part D Event (PDE)- with Drug Characteristics File appended $75/year $225
Formulary File $50
Prescriber Characteristics and Bridge Files $250
Pharmacy Characteristics and Bridge Files $250
Part D Medication Therapy Management File $50 $50
Medicare Assessment Files
Minimum Data Set (MDS) $275 $150
Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) $275 $150
Ancillary Files
Medicare Data on Provider Practice and Specialty (MD-PPAS) $275

Cancer cases from the expansion registries are diagnosed in 2000 or later.

Hospital files containing hospital characteristics collected by CMS are available free of charge with NCI approval to those investigators with an approved SEER-Medicare application. See Provider Files for details.

The MD-PPAS data provided to requestors will be project specific (e.g., the MD-PPAS data will be restricted to include only providers who appear in the claims data for the specified project).

These estimates are for creating data files for one cancer site, such as lung. Use the charges in the above table to estimate the total cost of your request. The estimated costs for the data files can also be calculated on this Web site.

If multiple cancer sites are ordered, the cost of the cancer files is multiplied depending on the sites requested. You will be charged for one cancer site for each of the following cancers:

  • Breast,
  • Lung,
  • Colorectal, and
  • Prostate.

For example: If all four of these cancer sites are requested, the charges in the table are multiplied by 4.

For cancer sites other than Breast, Lung. Colorectal and Prostate, the multipliers are as follows:

  • One to two cancer sites: × 1.
  • Three to four cancer sites: × 2.
  • Five to eight cancer sites: × 3.
  • Nine to twelve cancer sites: × 4.
  • Thirteen or more cancer sites: × 5.

For requests involving a combination of Breast, Lung, Colorectal, Prostate, plus other site(s), the multipliers are additive. For example: the multiplier for a request including Breast, Lung, Ovary and Uterine cancer is as follows:

Breast × 1
Lung × 1
+ Ovary, Uterine × 1

Total multiplier: 3

If you select the 5% Cancer file, it will count as one cancer site. However, the cost of the file is a flat $150 and not subject to any multiplier.

Please note that for all files except NCH, Outpatient, and PDE of SEER-linked cases, the data production costs include all calendar years. For example, the cost of MedPAR data for 1999 – 2018 is $125. The NCH, Outpatient, and PDE files are large. Therefore the production costs for these files are for each calendar year. For example, the charge for 1999 – 2018 NCH claims for one cancer site is $2,000.

Last Updated: 16 Feb, 2021