Getting and Using the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey for HSR: Guidance from the Experts

Start Date: 
May 3, 2013

1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET

The Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) represents an important resource for researchers studying the Medicare program and its enrolled populations.   It is a continuous survey of a nationally representative sample of the Medicare population conducted by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) through a contract with the research firm Westat. Among its uses, MCBS allows researchers to determine expenditures and sources of payment—including non-Medicare insurance and out-of-pocket spending—for all health care services used by Medicare beneficiaries. It also provides the ability to trace changes over time in health status, usual sources of care, satisfaction with care, and beneficiary “spend down” to Medicaid eligibility.

As part of an ongoing effort to highlight important sources of data for health care financing and organizational research, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) program is pleased to offer a free webinar on best practices in using MCBS data. The webinar will provide an overview of the data source, offer insights from experienced researchers, and illustrate how the data can be used to explore issues related to health care financing and organization.


  • Yvonne Jonk, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate at the Research Data Assistance Center (ResDAC), and Erin Mann, M.P.H., Technical Advisor at ResDAC, will provide a background on the MCBS, additional resources, tips, and best practices drawn from their organization’s role as a CMS contractor assisting researchers in obtaining and working with MCBS data;
  • Bruce Stuart, Ph.D., Professor and Executive Director of the Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging at the University of Maryland, Baltimore; and
  • Timothy Waidmann, Ph.D., Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center, will share some of their accumulated wisdom in getting and working with MCBS data in their research.

After initial presentations, the speakers will respond to participants’ questions during the final 30 minutes of the webinar. 

This free webinar is intended for both new and experienced researchers. 

Registration is now closed. Email with questions.