Population Data BC provides researchers with the MSP payment data organized by the date services are provided, rather than the payment date. We believe data organized by service date will be more useful and relevant to researchers than data organized by the date payment for a service is made.
Researchers should be aware that the most current year of MSP payment data available is approx. 5-10% incomplete. There can be a three to six month lag between when a service is provided and when payment for that service is made and a record entered into the MSP payment data. MSP payment data are organized by fiscal year beginning April 1 and ending March 31. Records for services provided in the last quarter of the most current year may not show up in the payment data until the first quarter of the following fiscal year.
For example, a record for a service provided on Feb 15, 2001 may not show up in the MSP payment data prior to March 31, 2001, which is the close of the data year. If the most current year of payment data available is 2000/01, the payment record for that service will not be included in the Population Data BC data holdings until the 2001/02 MSP payment data are available. In addition, there are payment years with retroactive payments that stretch back further than six months (1996/97, 2001/02, 2002/03). Thus PopData typically looks much further ahead, using three to four years of payment based files to build a single service year file.
Researchers can choose to recognize this lack of data in their analyses or can request access to the following year of MSP payment data when it becomes available to ensure their data are complete.