University-Sponsored Researcher and State Agency Requests (IPA)
The California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) provides confidential patient-level data sets to eligible researchers. Some of these researchers are eligible through the Information Practices Act (or “IPA,” CA Civil Code Section 1798 et seq.), which permits nonprofit educational institutions (such as the University of California) and state agencies to request data for research purposes and for performing legally mandated activities. The contents of these IPA files are described in the Master Variable Grid and the Nonpublic Data Documentation. Additionally, detailed submission guidelines for the patient data are available for the current year in the MIRCal online reporting system manuals.
- 1. Confirm your eligibility for confidential data.
Before you start the application process, please confirm your eligibility. Nonprofit university-sponsored researchers are eligible to request IPA files. All IPA confidential data requests must have:
- Request for Nonpublic Patient Level data approved by OSHPD
- Research protocol approved by the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS). The CPHS protocol must be renewed annually and kept current while the researcher has the data. CPHS is the state Internal Review Board for the California Health and Human Services Agency. CPHS approves requests at committee meetings, held six times per year.
- 2. Does the data set meet your analytical needs?
Review the nonpublic data documentation.
- 3. Review the IPA Data Request Checklist to begin the interactive request process.
Data Set Cost
- 1. How much do the Confidential Data Sets Cost?
OSHPD charges $200 for one year of PDD, ED or AS data. The most current three years of data are complimentary to nonprofit educational institutions. See the OSHPD Pricing Policy.
- 2. How long does it take to receive data after I submit a request?
It depends on the complexity and completeness of the request. On average, the time between an IPA request being received and when data is shipped, is about six months. It may be longer or shorter depending on the Request. IPA Requests take longer than AB 2876 Requests because they require approval from the California Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects. Additionally, any request for OSHPD Patient data linked to Birth or Death Certificate data requires an additional review by the California Department of Public Health Vital Statistics Advisory Committee.
- 3. Can OSHPD send data files via Secure File Transfer Protocol?
Yes, or via overnight shipping.
- 4. Why does it take longer to get PDD/Linked Birth or Death data?
The California Department of Public Health is required to review all requests that contain Birth and Death Certificate data, which includes our OSHPD Patient data linked to Birth or Death Certificate data. We are not allowed to release PDD/Linked Birth data until it is approved by the CDPH Vital Statistics Advisory Committee. This review is in addition to the approval by OSHPD and CPHS.
Confidential Data Set Eligibility
- 5. What is the difference between an AB 2876 Request and an IPA Request?
These are two different types of requests that fall under two sets of laws. The IPA requests are under the Information Practices Act (or "IPA", CA Civil Code Section 1798.24 et seq.) which authorizes what can be released to researchers from nonprofit universities or other state agencies. The AB 2876 requests are under Assembly Bill 2876 which authorizes the data that can be released to California-licensed hospitals and local Public Health Departments.
- 6. What if I need data, but I do not qualify for the nonpublic version, either IPA or AB 2876?
You can request a custom run from one of our analysts to receive aggregate-level data for specified variables (data through 2012). There may be a product on the OSHPD website that you can use, or you can purchase California discharge data from the federal HCUP program.
Using Confidential Data
- 7. I want to link OSHPD data to data from another source. Is this possible?
It depends on what is being linked and how the data are being used. This is one of the factors we look at when reviewing your request. OSHPD data cannot be used to re-identify actual patients. When a linkage of this nature is needed for a specific research project, details of how the linkage can occur without the identifiers being released to the researcher need to be discussed. For example, you could track "Patient A" but not actually know who this person is.
- 8. What am I allowed to do with the data?
You may use the data for the project that you have been approved by OSHPD and CPHS to use it for, analyze it, prepare reports and articles and publish your findings. What you are NOT allowed to do is:
- Use the data for a different project
- Share the data with anyone who is not listed on your Data Use Agreement
- Publish patient-level data or information that is considered a small cell (less than 15 subjects)
- Change your scope-of-work without proper approvals
- Keep patient-level data in your system after the project has ended
- 9. If an article is published from the project I did, am I required to give OSHPD a copy?
You are not required to submit a copy of published materials or papers to us, but we like to know how our data is being used.
- 10. Do you publish my information on your website?
We currently list all approved IPA requests here, after the data has been released.
This page was last updated on Friday, September 30, 2016.
Type of Request
Data Years Available
Healthcare Information Resource Center
400 R Street, Suite 250
Sacramento, CA 95811-6213
Tel: (916) 326-3802
Fax: (916) 324-9242
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PST)