Home  >  State Resource Center  >  MACPro Portal

Environmental Scanning and Program Characteristics (ESPC) Database

Welcome to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Environmental Scanning and Program Characteristics (ESPC) Database. ESPC development is sponsored by the CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) in partnership with the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS). The ESPC database is in a Microsoft (MS) Access format and contains Medicaid and CHIP data, for the 50 states and District of Columbia. Specifically, the ESPC database predominantly houses information on Medicaid and CHIP program characteristics as well as selected environmental factors that are available through other publicly available databases. This database contains data from 2005 onward, and will be updated in calendar year 2012 and 2013. Program characteristics include data elements such as eligibility criteria, the presence of waiver programs, managed care penetration, benefit coverage, reimbursement levels, and expenditures. Additional ESPC materials are available:

The ESPC database  does not represent an integrated, authoritative source for Medicaid and CHIP data, but does offer an important information source for the CMS Medicaid Analytic eXtract (MAX) file, comparative effectiveness research (CER), policy studies, and program evaluations. The ESPC database and companion User Guide can serve as a tool to facilitate intra–and inter–state analysis stemming from the implementation of health reform. See additional MAX information.

Environmental factors include data elements such as population demographics and density, the population's socioeconomic status and health insurance coverage, and various indicators of health care system capacity. Many other environmental factors can be found in the Area Resource File. In addition, the new Community Health Data Initiative (CHDI), a compendium of existing data sources, is being developed by the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This initiative will house community health data, indicators, and interventions to help Americans understand health and health care system performance in their communities.

Information in the ESPC database is presented as made available and has not been altered, changed, or validated. Please note that differences in variable documentation may exist depending on the data source. To the extent possible all source documentation for the specific variables are provided. Users of the ESPC database need to be mindful of these potential differences in data, when selecting variables of interest.

Users are referred to the noted data sources for complete detailed data documentation. Variable names and descriptions in the ESPC database retain the terminology in the original data source. Users should exercise caution when using ESPC data elements for calculations to ensure that the data elements are based on compatible populations.

Feedback and suggestions will be reviewed and incorporated in future versions of ESPC. Please send any comments to ESPC_Database@impaqint.com.