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2003 National Healthcare Quality Report

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Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS)

Sponsor

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Mode of Administration

MEPS is a family of surveys. The MEPS Household Component (HC) is the core survey and uses computer-assisted, in-person, interviews. The data for this report are from the MEPS HC.

In addition, data from three MEPS supplements were used:

  1. Diabetes Care Survey (DCS)

    This was a paper-and-pencil questionnaire administered to household respondents who answered "Yes" to a question which asked whether or not the respondent was ever told by a doctor or other health professional that he/she had diabetes.

  2. 2000 Self-Administered Questionnaire (SAQ)

    This was a pencil-and-paper questionnaire designed to collect a variety of health status and health care quality measures of adults. The health care quality measures in the SAQ were taken from the health plan version of CAHPS®, an AHRQ sponsored family of survey instruments designed to measure quality of care from the consumer's perspective.

  3. 2000 Parent Administered Questionnaire (PAQ)

    This was a pencil-and-paper questionnaire designed to collect a variety of health status and health care quality measures of children from CAHPS® and from the Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) screener.

    The SAQ and PAQ population totals are adjusted for non-response to screener and measure-specific questions.

Survey Sample Design

Each year, the MEPS HC sample is a nationally representative sub-sample of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). It uses a stratified multistage probability design.

Primary Survey Content

Medical expenditure data as well as detailed data on health conditions, health status, use of medical care services, charges and payments, access to care, satisfaction with care, health insurance coverage, income, and employment.

Population Targeted

The MEPS HC is a nationally representative survey of the U.S. civilian non-institutionalized population.

Demographic Data

Age, race, ethnicity, region, occupation, employment status, and household composition.

Years Collected

1996 to present.

Schedule

Annual.

Geographic Estimates

National. The HC data also can be shown for the four Census regions (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West).

Notes

AHRQ fields a new MEPS panel each year. In this design, two calendar years of information are collected from each household in a series of five rounds of data collection over a 2 1/2-year period. These data are then linked with additional information collected from the respondents' medical providers, employers, and insurance providers. This series of data collection activities is repeated each year on a new sample of households, resulting in overlapping panels of survey data.

Contact Information

Agency homepage: http://www.ahrq.gov.

Data system homepage: http://www.meps.ahrq.gov.

References

Cohen, J. Design and Methods of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component. MEPS Methodology Report No. 1. AHCPR Pub. No. 97-0026. Rockville, MD: AHCPR, 1997.

Cohen, S. Sample Design of the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component. MEPS Methodology Report No. 2. AHCPR Pub. No. 97-0027. Rockville, MD: AHCPR, 1997.

Cohen, J.W.; Monheit, A.C.; Beauregard, K.M.; et al. The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey: A National Health Information Resource. Inquiry 33:373-389, 1996/1997. Also available as AHCPR Pub. No. 97-R043. Washington, DC: AHCPR, 1997.

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