Different Medicaid claims data sources each had their own strengths and weaknesses. The Medicaid Data Learning Network (MDLN), in collaboration with the AcademyHealth State Health Research and Policy Interest Group, hosted a virtual panel of experts to speak to the pros and cons of three Medicaid claims data sources: state Medicaid Claims, T-MSIS Analytic Files (TAF), and All Payer Claims Databases (APCDs). While TAF data were appropriate for national analyses and multi-state comparisons, all-payer claims databases and individual state data could often provide in-depth explorations of a given state or unique data linkages. Panelists discussed trade-offs in cost, generalizability, and data quality.

We heard expert insights from Mathematica, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of New Hampshire on how TAF, state, and APCD data, respectively, could be successfully leveraged to answer policy-relevant questions about the Medicaid program and what challenges each posed.

Watch Recorded Webinar

Presentation slides from the webinar are available here.

 Learning Objectives

By the end of this webinar, attendees:

  • Understood the strengths and weaknesses of different Medicaid claims data sources.
  • Identified appropriate uses for each data source, and 
  • Learned what policy-relevant questions can be answered using medical claims data.

Speaker List


Julie Donohue

Julie Donohue, Ph.D.

Professor & Chair - Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh

Julie M. Donohue, Ph.D., is the principal lead on AcademyHealth's Medicaid Outcomes Distributed Research Network-Opioid project. Read Bio

Josephine Porter

Josephine Porter, M.P.H.

Director, Institute for Health Policy and Practice (IHPP), University of New Hampshire

Josephine Porter serves as the Director for the Institute for Health Policy and Practice (IHPP) at the University of New Hampshire. IHPP is an applied research institute within the College of Health and Human Services. The mission of IHPP is to conduct and disseminate high-quality, cutting-edge applied research and policy work that enables health system partners to implement evidence-based strategies to improve population health. IHPP focuses its work in 5 focal areas: Health Analytics and Informatics, Long Term Care and Aging, Delivery System and Payment Reform, Public Health and Health Promotion, and Health Law and Policy. The last of these, Health Law and Policy, is a collaboration with the UNH School of Law. Read Bio


Carol Irvin, Ph.D.

Senior Fellow - Mathematica

Carol Irvin’s career has focused on using data to assess policies and programs related to health care access, particularly for vulnerable populations. She has extensive experience evaluating programs that extend coverage or transform health care services for people of all ages and with a wide range of chronic conditions and disabilities. Read Bio