CMS rolls out new researcher tool

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled a new research tool last month. Being Washington, DC, the shorthand is a com­pilation of letters—VRDC, for Virtual Research Data Center. The tool lets researchers analyze the agency's stores of health data.

The government agency said in its announcement that the new tool will save researchers time and money, because they will be able to tap into CMS data from remote locations instead of waiting the year-long average that it takes for printed data to arrive at their doorsteps. CMS estimates that it costs more than $100,000 to ship a year's worth of Medicare A, B and D data. The new program will knock that down to around $40,000.

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