|Dataset Full Name||Outpatient Standard Analytical Files|
|Dataset Acronym||Outpatient SAF|
The Outpatient Standard Analytical File (SAF) contains procedure-level claims and billing data for Medicare Part B beneficiaries receiving services from institutional-affiliated outpatient health providers (including emergency room visits not resulting in inpatient hospital stays). Institutional outpatient providers include: hospital outpatient departments, renal dialysis facilities, comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities, and community mental health centers among others. The SAF includes: beneficiary demographic information, primary claim diagnosis and up to 25 additional diagnosis codes (ICD-9), Health Care Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes and Current Procedural Technology (CPT) codes. The SAF also contains provider information including CMS Certification Number (CCN), facility type, unique physician identification number (UPIN), and national provider identifier (NPI) for all healthcare providers. Procedure-level details include date and place of service, charges submitted by the providers, payments for services and service recipient copayments.
Studies often combine the Medicare Outpatient SAF data with the Medicare National Carrier file data to examine outpatient utilization of health services provided by both institutional-affiliated providers and non-institutional providers.
|Key Terms||Medicare Part B, HCPCS, CPT, Institutional-affiliated providers|
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
|Health Conditions/Disability Measures|
ICD-9/10 diagnostic codes
|Disability Measures||NA||Measures/Outcomes of Interest|
|Topics||Outpatient health-services utilization, Outpatient rehabilitation services utilization, Continuity of care, Health Care Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), Current Procedural Technology codes (CPT)||Sample|
|Sample Population||Medicare beneficiaries|
Medicare beneficiaries enrolled under Medicare Part B
|Unit of Observation||Individual|
|Geographic Coverage||United States|
|Geographic specificity||Beneficiary residence zip code|
Medicare (Part B beneficiaries)
|Data Collection Mode||Administrative claims data|
|Data Collection Frequency||Annual||Strengths and Limitations|
|Strengths||Very large sample size. Includes health services and rehabilitative services utilization in institutional settings, such as hospital outpatient departments, home health agencies, and comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities. Outpatient SAF data files can be linked to other CMS and non-CMS data.|
|Limitations||Data for beneficiaries enrolled in Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) is not included. Due to a lack of patient-level health assessment information, analysis based on carrier files alone is primarily limited to the utilization of services. Linking outpatient files to carrier data files is required for certain conditions/procedures, such as outpatient rehabilitation services performed at non-institutional or institution-affiliated settings.||Data Details|
|Data Access Requirements||Data Use agreement, $ Cost|
Condition Code File
Demonstrations/Innovations Code File
Occurrence Code File
Span Code File
Value Code File
Revenue Center File
Sharma G, Fletcher KE, Zhang D, Kuo YF, Freeman JL, Goodwin JS (2009). Continuity of outpatient and inpatient care by primary care physicians for hospitalized older adults. JAMA, 301(16):1671-80.
Gellhorn AC, Chan L, Martin B, Friedly J (2012). Management patterns in acute low back pain: the role of physical therapy. Spine, 37(9):775-82. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3062937/
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