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BURLINGAME, CA, United States

Nagavarapu S.,Acumen, Llc | Sekhri S.,University of Virginia
Journal of Development Economics | Year: 2016

This paper shows that social networks provide informal monitoring and enforcement services that can curb leakages and improve the efficacy of public service delivery. We examine India's targeted public distribution system, under which poor households are entitled to subsidized grains and fuel. We show that Scheduled Castes (SCs) are more likely to buy grains when facing SC delivery agents, but there is no difference in the take up of fuel. We develop a theoretical framework positing that increased informal monitoring and enforcement drive our findings. We test our theory using observational survey data and unique data that we collected. Our empirical results provide strong support for the testable implications. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. Source


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 96.00K | Year: 2012

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): In the Enhancing Confidentiality of Research Files Based on Medicare Data project, Acumen, LLC aims to expand the overall capabilities of researchers to use survey-linked Medicare claims data. Currently the processfor obtaining approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to access these files entails significant paperwork and delays, which imposes a substantial burden on researchers. To facilitate access to high-quality data, Acumen will create survey-linked Medicare claims-level files that meet CMS's expedited DUA process requirements. This process allows researchers to forego components of the standard procedures required to obtain data with personally identifiable information (PII). The Limited Data Set (LDS) files currently available under the expedited process, however, have significant shortcomings. Specifically, the LDS files encrypt, mask, or omit a large number of data elements. Further, the variable do not contain sufficient information to permit linking to survey data, stratified analyses, or the study of geographic variation, among other research purposes. By creating more detailed survey-linked claim-level files available through the expedited process, Acumen will not only reduce thedemand for PII data (thus, enhancing beneficiary confidentiality), but also will allow more researchers to access detailed CMS data. To create these enhanced survey-linked Medicare files, Acumen will leverage our existing Medicare/Medicaid Research Information Center (MedRIC). MedRIC is Acumen's established mechanism for creating and distributing survey-data linked to various CMS administrative files. To meet researcher demand and CMS regulations, Acumen will closely collaborate with NIA surveys and the CMS to accomplish the following Phase I aims: 1. Review CMS data structure and variable encryption criteria for the expedited DUA process 2. Design candidate data structures that comply with the CMS expedited DUA regulations 3. Consult with NIA surveys to refine candidate data structures 4. Secure CMS approval for finalized data structure 5. Establish a design for a data request process with NIA surveys and CMS 6. Determine additional computer infrastructure needed for data storage and extraction In Phase IIof this Fast Track application, Acumen will build the data file designed in Phase I, create documentation, begin data distribution, and obtain user feedback. The creation of these files aims to shift research community's data use paradigm by improving researcher access to CMS data while enhancing beneficiary confidentiality protections. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Currently, researchers who wish to acquire detailed Medicare administrative data must undergo a lengthy application process to access this information. Under the Enhancing the Confidentiality of Research Files Based on Medicare Data project, Acumen will create enhanced Medicare files linked to NIA survey data that: i) researchers will be able to access through an existing expedited acquisition process, and ii) will better protect beneficiary confidentiality by reducing the demand for CMS data containing personally identifiable information. By facilitating access to high-quality data, Acumen aims to improve the quality of healthcare research currently conducted across a wide range of research disciplines.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.72K | Year: 2007

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This STTR proposal to the National Institute on Aging (NIA) requests funding to expand the capabilities of the Medicare Research Information Center (MedRIC) recently established by Acumen LLC with earlier support from NIA. The purpose of MedRIC is to facilitate the acquisition and linking of administrative data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to participants of surveys and registries sponsored by NIH and other federal agencies. Through expanding the capacities of MedRIC, Acumen will establish an infrastructure capable of vastly reducing the costs and burdens that researchers must bear to attain and use CMS administrative data in conjunction with popular federally-supported surveys/registries. To date, MedRIC's activities have focused on linking functional research files derived from Medicare data to NIA-supported surveys. The aim of this SBIR/STTR project is to expand MedRIC?s efforts to include data sets collected by the U.S. Census. In partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau, this STTR project will develop a strategy for creating research supplements based on Medicare and Medicaid administrative files matched to several prominent Census surveys that incorporate protocols necessary for satisfying restrictive Title 13 prohibitions on data distribution. To meet the goals of this project, Phase I will accomplish eight specific tasks: (1) establish protocols for data access and privacy, satisfying the confidentiality requirements of Census and CMS; (2) identify alternative methodologies for linking information about beneficiaries across Medicare and Medicaid data sources consistent with Census? special protocols; (3) evaluate the merits of carrying out linkages of Medicare/Medicaid data for the Census surveys CPS, ACS, NHIS, and SIPP; (4) conduct a pilot project assessing the effectiveness of the Census-compatible linking methodologies using Medicare and/or Medicaid files; (5) produce plans for the development of research data structures that incorporate information from Medicare/Medicaid administrative data sources into Census survey files; (6) formulate plans for extensive data documentation to make constructed variables easily understood and retrievable by researchers; (7) investigate options for integrating Medicare/Medicaid information into Census? newly-established projects that are being developed to facilitate access to confidential data through web-based applications that restrict the reporting of results; and (8) prepare plans for MedRIC?s computer infrastructure needed for data storage and extraction.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 87.23K | Year: 2011

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This STTR application requests funding to expand the capabilities of Acumen LLC's Medicare/Medicaid Research Information Center (MedRIC). To advance the quality of the data available for public policy research, MedRIC facilitates the acquisition of data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to participants of surveys and registries sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA). By linking administrative and survey data into a cohesive structure,Acumen will significantly reduce the financial and time costs that researchers currently bear to acquire and use CMS administrative data. Although MedRIC has already linked NIA survey data to Medicare enrollment and claims files, this project will augmentthese efforts to include linkages to Medicaid claims databases. By successfully expanding MedRIC's capabilities, this project will significantly reduce the burden that researchers and policy analysts face as they investigate health care utilization, quality, and expenditure patterns among low- income individuals, children, and pregnant women. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: To promote more effective public policy research on patients with limited income and resources, this project will create new data resources linking NIH survey data with Medicaid claims files. This integration will not only provide researchers higher quality information, but will also reduce the cost for NIH-funded researchers to access and use this linked data.


Grant
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 738.46K | Year: 2011

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This STTR proposal to the National Institute on Aging (NIA) requests funding to expand the capabilities of the Medicare Research Information Center (MedRIC) recently established by Acumen, LLC with support from NIA. Thepurpose of MedRIC is to facilitate the acquisition and linking of data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to participants of surveys and registries sponsored by NIA and other related federal agencies, and to advance the use of thesedata for research and public policy. By expanding MedRIC's capabilities, Acumen will vastly reduce the financial and time costs that researchers must currently bear to acquire and use CMS administrative data. To date, MedRIC's activities have already linked Medicare enrollment and claims files to NIA surveys and registries. The aim of this STTR project is to expand the scope of the project to include the national assessment records for nursing home residents in the Long-term Care Minimum Data Set (MDS) andfor home health patients in the Outcomes and Assessment Instrument Set (OASIS). By successfully expanding MedRIC's capabilities, this project will vastly relieve the burden that researchers and policy analysts currently face as they investigate health care utilization, quality, and expenditure patterns for nursing home and home health patients. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: To promote more effective public policy research on patients receiving home health and nursing home care, this project will create new data resources linking NIH survey data with Medicare patient assessment files. This integration will not only provide researchers higher quality information, but will also reduce the cost for NIH-funded researchers to access and use this linked data.

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