Accessing DHCS Protected Data for Research and Public Health
This is the primary portal for requesting protected data from the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) for research and public health purposes. Protected data refers to any data containing confidential information that otherwise would be unavailable to the public. This website is not for requesting publicly available data.
DHCS endeavors to draw upon the wealth of knowledge available from scientific studies in health care delivery and medical science fields. Research and public health surveillance conducted with DHCS’s protected data can provide useful information about the effectiveness of DHCS’ programs, as well as, identify potential areas for improvement. To the extent possible, DHCS utilizes this knowledge in its attempts to make its programs and policies “evidence-based.”
All requests to this portal for access to protected data must be for research or public health purposes only. This portal does not facilitate access to protected data for legal, administrative or other purposes. Each request will be submitted to DHCS’ Data and Research Committee (DRC), which oversees DHCS’ data request evaluation process. The DRC assesses the appropriateness of requests for protected data, assigns a priority status to each request, and recommends potential approval/denial action to DHCS Executive management.
In general, the DHCS DRC will not support research that will lead to the creation of a product or tool that the researcher or funder intends to market. For example, the DHCS DRC may deny data requests from requestors wanting to evaluate the impact of prescription drugs if a pharmaceutical company finances the study directly or indirectly.
Via this portal, external researchers and public health authorities can:
- Obtain information about how to request access to DHCS Protected Data;
- Learn about the laws, criteria, and processes that DHCS uses in evaluating such requests; and
- View the topics and findings of other researchers who have conducted projects using DHCS data.
Due to current state budget restrictions, requests for data will be prioritized and there may be considerable delay providing data even if the data request is approved by the DHCS Director and DRC.