The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has a standardized application process for the evaluation, review and potential approval of requests for protected data for research or public health purposes. Researchers who have used DHCS protected data in the past and need a renewal of the Data Use Agreement (DUA) are required to file a complete new research application as described below.
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.
Please note that there is time delay in the data from when DHCS receives protected health information from the health plans. Depending upon the timframe being requested, there may be a delay between six to eighteen months after the date of service before DHCS data is considered to be complete. Data is currently only available as far back as October 2004.
More importantly, Section 1902 (a) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 1396a (7)) restricts DHCS from disclosing protected information other than for purposes that are directly connected with the administration of the Medi-Cal Program.
As a part of accessing and maintaining protected DHCS data, DHCS requires researchers to provide a presentation of their findings to DHCS staff. Potential presentation dates will be forwarded to researchers as a part of the annual DUA renewal process.
Requestors must submit a complete application packet composed of the following:
A copy of the researcher’s curriculum vitae
DRC Public Health Application for County Requests:
DRC Public Health Application for State Department Requests (CHHS Data Sharing Framework):
CHHS Data Playbook
Data sharing at CHHS is governed by the CHHS data exchange agreement and the associated business use case proposal process. The CHHS Data Exchange Agreement is bifurcated into two parts—one master agreement with general legal boilerplate language and subordinate “Business Use Case Proposals” containing the specific business case to document each data exchange under the master agreement. The Business Use Case Proposal includes information such as data type, intended use, etc. The master agreement, when coupled with the Business Use Case Proposal, forms the complete, standardized, legally-compliant data sharing agreement.
Contact your Department’s data coordinator for information on how to find and exchange CHHS data.
Download the data sharing materials:
Exhibits that accompany the Data Use Agreements (for your files and information):
Application materials must be submitted via the two following methods:
- Electronically to DHCSDRC@dhcs.ca.gov.
- A signed and dated hard copy of the Application Form and Data Use Agreement must be mailed to:
Department of Health Care Services
Attn: Data and Research Committee
1700 K Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
Confirmation of receipt of the application packet by DHCS will be sent to the researcher via e-mail.
If you have any questions, please contact the DRC coordinator at DHCSDRC@dhcs.ca.gov or (916) 440-7617.