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Payment for Services

Boston Medical Center Data Warehouse
Charges for Accessing Data for Research Purposes

Sample Research Questions and Estimates
of Time/Charge to Answer Them

  • Q: Where do the charges go and why are there charges for this service?
    • A: The funds go to pay for the service (of accessing the Clinical Data Warehouse for research purposes). Boston Medical Center has invested in the creation and maintenance of the warehouse. Funds collected for accessing data for research purposes are not used for warehouse operations. They are used to expand and maintain services for investigators to be able to easily access these data for research purposes.
  • Q: What are the charges for accessing data for research purposes from the Boston Medical Center Clinical Data Warehouse?
    • A: $75 per hour. Users are charged when the service takes 1 hour or more. Researchers are encouraged to include these costs in grant proposal budgets as either a service, consultation, or as percent full time equivalent (FTE) for the data warehouse manager, as appropriate. See table below for approximate costs for some common types of data requests.
  • Q: How are data request charges determined and billed for?
    • A: Researchers are encouraged to request an estimate of effort anticipated. Having a well-defined request from you will enable us to estimate your costs more accurately and will shorten the time needed to complete requests. When the work is done, the warehouse manager prepares an invoice for you or your department to pay.
  • Q: Can data be accessed at no charge?
    • A: Investigators wanting to access data from the data warehouse for research purposes may ask for an exemption to being charged by providing a brief written justification which will be reviewed by the Office of Human Research Affairs. These will be considered for trainees (students, residents, fellows) and unfunded (faculty) research. Other justifications may be considered.
Type of Request Question/Request Example Time/Charge
Simple Counts (the answer is a number). How many patients with asthma in calendar year 2007 had an emergency department visit at BMC? How many patients with pneumonia were admitted to the MICU in 2007? < 1 hour/no charge. Not all counts will be no charge.
Complex count (the answer is a number, but selection criteria are complex). How many adult inpatients developed nosocomial pneumonia in CY2017? 1-<2 hours (~$75)
Simple dataset generated based on few clear criteria or list provided by investigator (the answer is a dataset). Please provide a complete medication list for 100 patients (list provided by researcher). Please provide a list of patients with cholesterol >240 mg/dl who were seen in the primary care clinic in 2017. 2-3 hours ($150-$225)
More complex dataset and source of data in the warehouse (the answer is a dataset). Please provide results for 20 specified laboratory tests and complete problem lists for a list of patients. 8-12 hours ($560-$840)
Exploration and definition of a dataset with uncertain properties (the answer is a dataset, after several iterations to better define sample selection criteria and exploration of free text fields). Please identify patients who are pregnant and have cervical smears showing cervical intraepithelial neoplasia II and have had a generalized seizure. 40 hours or more (>$3,000)
Note: Recurrent or repeated requests for the same type of data may take less time and therefore be less costly than the first request when done again one or more times.