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HCUP and MEPS Data Users Workshop

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will conduct its third annual workshop to facilitate use of two of its important data resources: the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). The two-day, hands-on workshop will be held at ARHQ headquarters in Rockville, MD on September 24-25, 2008.

Registration is available through the MEPS Web site at http://meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/ under "Workshops & Events."

The workshop will provide health services researchers with information on the components and capabilities of the two databases. Participants will be taught how to extract data for research projects from their choice of either MEPS or HCUP. For MEPS, a working knowledge of SAS is required. For HCUP, familiarity with SAS is recommended but not required. There is no fee for the workshop.

Registration is required. Day 1 of the workshop will consist of lectures designed to provide a general overview of MEPS and HCUP. Day 2 will be the participant's choice of in-depth hands-on training on either MEPS or HCUP.

The MEPS and HCUP sessions will be separate, but both will have instructor-lead training on computers that are provided. In both workshops, participants will have the opportunity to pose specific research questions. In the MEPS session, participants will apply the knowledge gained from the first day's lectures to formulate a research plan that utilizes the various MEPS-HC files and linkage capabilities. Each participant will construct an analytic file and begin to conduct analyses. Participants may bring a CD with their active MEPS project and get expert help on their research questions. The HCUP session will show participants how to use several HCUP databases, e.g., Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), and software tools, e.g., HCUPnet.

For additional information or questions, E-mail workshopinfo@ahrq.hhs.gov.

Editor's Note: MEPS collects data on the specific health services that Americans use, how frequently they use them, the cost of these services, and how they are paid for, as well as data on the cost, scope, and breadth of private health insurance held by and available to the U.S. population. For more information about MEPS, please visit: http://meps.ahrq.gov.

HCUP is a family of powerful health care databases, software tools, and products. HCUP data enable research on a broad range of topics related to health care, including cost and quality of health services, medical practice patterns, access to health care programs, and outcomes of treatment at the national, State, and local market levels. For more information about HCUP, please visit http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov.

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