DESCRIPTION: The purpose of this SBIR grant is to make simulated
MEDICARE databases of cancer research information filled with dummy
records embedded in the NCHS SETS software. The data values in the
dummy records must be distributed by age, race, location, etc.
similarly to the distribution of values in the real records so that
computations using them will be useful. Such dummy databases could offer
significant advantages in cost, ease of use and confidentiality
restrictions over using real data, for preliminary/introductory use of
MEDICARE datasets -- though of course they could not replace using real
data for research studies. In Phase I, dummy datasets were constructed
for prostate cancer and female breast cancer from the MEDICARE 1994
Inpatient Standard Analytical File using a Stratified Averaging and
Sampling (SAVES) technique. HCFA approved the prostate dummy data-
simulation for general release with no confidentiality restrictions.
Phase-II will enhance the dummy simulation system to include additional
cancers, better representation of racial distributions, enrollment/
population "denominator" data, the SEER-MEDICARE link system (Potosky
93) and other aspects. Perhaps a standardized dummying protocol could
be developed, leading to similar simulations for many distribution-
sensitive medical datasets.
PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION:
The proposed commercial applications are Educational Materials for
students and researchers. Project products (CD-ROM and Web) will enable
users to become familiar with MEDICARE & SEER data without high costs
or privacy liabilities, and to design studies by estimating key
properties of data. Tutorials will illustrate methods of cancer research
using medicare data.
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