The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are expanding the capacity of their integrated data repository. The Teradata environment at CMS comprises the largest volume of health care-related data files in the world.

CMS annually disseminates more data than any other federal agency or private-sector company to researchers, policy groups, associations, medical groups and private citizens. CMS administers the Medicare program and works in partnership with the states to administer Medicaid, the State Children's Health Insurance Program and health insurance portability standards. CMS is responsible for the policies of and payment for health care services to the senior citizen and indigent population of the United States.

CMS information systems have a massive and growing workload for data processing, analysis and dissemination. The Medicare Modernization Act added new benefits to Medicare and, along with the increases in Medicare claims from aging baby boomers, the growth of data and the requirement for more data warehouse capacity are rising dramatically. Currently CMS collects more than 40 billion claims and other beneficiary records each year and maintains tables that contain billions of rows of data.

With this expansion, CMS will manage a 20-terabyte data warehouse. A Teradata Professional Services team will assist CMS in setting up, supporting and governing the data warehouse. A separate Teradata Customer Services group will provide business-critical maintenance, customer education, installation and other services. The CMS data warehouse, referred to as its Integrated Data Repository, is expected to grow to 180 terabytes in four years. In a recent interview, CMS said the centralization of data will improve its ability to analyze its data for many purposes, notably, to identify fraud in claims.

The centralization of enterprise data, while not a new idea, is becoming more widely adopted among large companies, who are building centralized data warehouses for strategic reasons. Key among the reasons is the need to access all relevant information from across the business on a moment's notice to make more precise decisions.

Leading analysts recommend the centralization of information in one single data warehouse, citing benefits for IT and business users as well as executive management.

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