What are the NHANES-CMS linked data files?

NCHS has developed a record linkage program designed to maximize the scientific value of the Center’s population-based surveys. NCHS is currently linking various NCHS surveys, including the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), with enrollment and claims data collected from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Linkage of the NCHS survey participants with the CMS data provides the opportunity to study changes in health status, health care utilization and expenditures in specialized populations, such as the elderly and disabled.


Why was this tutorial created?

NCHS developed this web-based tutorial to meet the growing demands of NHANES data users and to promote broader and more proficient use of NHANES-CMS linked data.


What does the tutorial provide?

This tutorial walks you through the steps for conducting an analytic project using the continuous NHANES-CMS linked data, with examples of common analytic applications and procedures. Continuous NHANES refers to the survey after 1999, when the survey moved to continuous data collection in two-year cycles. Relevant background information, tips and explanations for SAS and SUDAAN programs, downloadable sample program code, and analytic guidance, are organized and integrated into modules and tasks to facilitate this learning process.


What is the best way to use the tutorial?

Your own background and learning style will dictate how you can best use this tutorial. If you are familiar with NHANES and CMS data, you can either start from the beginning of the NHANES-CMS Linked Data Web Tutorial, or select topics of interest presented in different modules.

If you are not familiar with NHANES data, we suggest you first visit the NHANES Web Tutorial page, then return here to complete the NHANES-CMS Linked Data Tutorial. To start the NHANES-CMS tutorial at the beginning, select Module 1 from the navigation bar on the left.


Who is the audience?

We expect users of this tutorial to come from a broad range of perspectives and disciplines and to have different levels of experience with NHANES, CMS and linked data; and varied degrees of skill in statistics and software packages (e.g., SAS, SUDAAN).

To report problems or comments with this tutorial, please use the NHANES Web Tutorial email. Please direct questions about the NHANES-CMS linked data files or general questions about the NCHS Data Linkage Program to