From time to time, an important area of policy cannot be analyzed using publicly available data. The Moran Company has worked with industry groups to use their own data to evaluate issues that could not otherwise be objectively analyzed. In such cases, we have developed data use and confidentiality agreements for companies donating data for a study to ensure their proprietary data is protected, and if the data are related to individual patients, we manage the data collection process to protect patient data consistent with all applicable Federal privacy regulations and standards. We also conduct surveys as needed.

We generally work with a task force of industry organizations to define the objectives for the study, collect information about the available data, develop detailed data specifications and then collect test data before fielding a large survey or data collection effort. When the project involves collection of large datasets, we work with donor-company IT professionals to ensure that the data collected from different operating and software environments can be made compatible with our systems. Once the data are collected, they are cleaned and integrated into an analytic database.

Studies based on these sorts of data collection efforts have been used publicly by clients in communications with CMS, MedPAC, other agencies and policy audiences. In some cases, these data projects are used to develop models for payment system reforms that CMS could replicate in data they have available, but that is not publicly accessible. In some cases, the data are used to provide the industry with insight in to patterns of utilization and cost within the industry to anticipate how expected future policies may affect providers within the industry. When working within an industry group, we are very careful to provide only aggregated data. Database construction projects involve agreements about the storage, maintenance, and eventual destruction of the data.