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)
Entitlement Data
Cancer Cases: Patient Entitlement and Diagnosis Summary File (PEDSF)1 $110 N/A
Cancer Cases: 5% All Cancers Diagnosis File1 $110 N/A
Non-cancer Cases: Summarized Denominator File (SUMDENOM)2 N/A $60
Claims Files
Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) $110 $60
Carrier Claims (NCH) $85/year $210
Outpatient (OUTPAT) $60/year $210
Home Health Agencies (HHA) $260 $110
Hospice $260 $110
Durable Medical Equipment (DME) $260 $110
Part D Event (PDE) $60/year $210
Chronic Conditions Flags $110 $60

1: The PEDSF file must be ordered.
2: The SUMDENOM file must be ordered when ordering any non-cancer claim files.

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

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 1991 – 2014 is $110. 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 1991 – 2014 NCH claims for one cancer site is $2,040.