Center for Administrative Data Research (CADR)

Provides expertise in the use of health services administrative data for all phases of clinical research studies.

The Center for Administrative Data Research (CADR) serves to provide leadership and training in the use of health services administrative data in clinical epidemiologic, health services and outcomes research, aiming to:

  • House and maintain a repository of administrative data and/or information about data sources
  • Train investigators on the ethical and secure use of administrative data
  • Provide leadership on the development and growth of administrative databases that can be used for research
  • Facilitate collaboration among interdisciplinary investigators using administrative data
  • Advance the effective use of public data to inform researchers, policymakers and the public about health and health care
Services & Resources
  • Assist investigators with preliminary feasibility queries
  • Assist investigators with choosing the appropriate databases
  • Assist investigators with data security and confidentiality through data use agreements
  • Assist investigators with obtaining information from multiple administrative data sources
  • Assist in preparation of grant applications to demonstrate capacity and expertise
  • Provide programming resources and support for management of administrative databases
  • Train investigators on the use of administrative databases
  • Provide information about projects, publications and investigators at Washington University using administrative data
Facilities & Other Resources

See the Tools/Software and Resources/Reports pages.

User Expectations

CADR expects that investigators will be aware of the potential difficulties of working with very large datasets. We suggest that you read through the material on the Choosing the Right Database page of the CADR website.

For more information, please visit the CADR website.


The IBM® MarketScan® Commercial Database has expanded to include 12 years of data (2006-2017). The MarketScan database is an extremely large, complex collection of individual-level medical and pharmacy claims from private healthcare plans. The MarketScan Multi-State Medicaid Database, which includes individuals enrolled in State and/or Medicaid Managed Care programs, has expanded to include the years 2011-2017.

Additions to the AHRQ Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) data inventory include the 2016 National Inpatient Sample (NIS), the 2015 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS), and 2016 State data from NY, FL and WI.


Using Administrative Data to Study Outcomes After Surgical Treatment of Chairi Malformation Type 1

ICTS Just-In-Time Award

Awarded a 2013 ICTS Core Usage Just-In-Time (JIT) Grant on “Using Administrative Data to Study Outcomes After Surgical Treatment of Chiari Malformation Type 1”, David Limbrick Jr MD PhD, an Associate Professor with joint appointments in Neurological Surgery and Pediatrics, worked with data from the Center for Administrative Data Research (CADR)  repository to study this rare neurological defect. Chiari malformations are structural defects in the cerebellum, the portion of the brain that controls balance and can range from acquired, asymptomatic settings where diagnosis is made by accident to more serious conditions with significant neurological defects. Syringomyelia (SM) is a debilitating condition characterized by abnormal fluid accumulation within the spinal cord and is associated with Chiari Type I malformation at the brain-spinal cord junction.

In recent updates,

  • Dr. Limbrick received a $2.8 Million grant from the Patient Center Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study “Posterior Fossa Decompression with or without Duraplasty for Chiari Type I Malformation with Syringomyelia” and determine the comparative effectiveness of options for this rare surgical procedure. This cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) aims to determine which of the approaches maximizes resolution of symptoms (including chronic pain, neurological deficits, and spinal deformity) and provides an improvement in quality of life (QOL) while minimizing the risk of harm. The results will facilitate the development of evidence-based treatment guidelines and provide patients and stakeholders valuable information necessary to inform health decisions.
  • Four publications with CADR have maximized the value of State Inpatient Databases to provide foundational research support underpining the PCORI grant. One study took a population perspective on complications and resource utilization [PMCID: PMC4506249], and a second publication validated an international classification system [PMCID: PMC4506217] for surgery. Two recent publications in J Neurosurg Pediatr from January 2016 examine the disorder in pediatric populations, by validating an ICD-9 code search algorithm for the surgery in children [PMCID: PMC4853277] and by examining surgical complications and the influence of comorbid disease in California, Florida, and New York [PMCID: PMC4876706].    
Request a Service

Complete the CADR/DIRC Intake form to determine service needs. Email or Matt Keller (, CADR Project Manager for consultation or inquiries.

Service available to:

Due to restrictions imposed by our data use agreements, direct access to most data is limited to Washington University faculty, staff, and students. Other members of the ICTS interested in working with data in the CADR repository are encouraged to collaborate with WU investigators.

For ICTS members, initial consultations, training sessions, and basic use of applications and tools are fully subsidized by the ICTS. Services above that level are provided through charge-back and collaborations through percent effort. Contact core representatives to discuss service needs and any associated costs.


Center for Administrative Data Research
See our program website for more detailed information.

CADR Team:, 314-286-0850 (phone)

Randi Foraker, PhD, MA, FAHA, FAMIA, Director

Matt Keller, Project Manager

Melissa Gendron, Project Manager