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New MEPS methodology reports are now available from AHRQ

Several new reports are now available from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). MEPS is the third in a series of nationally representative surveys of medical care use and expenditures sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. MEPS is cosponsored by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The first survey, the National Medical Care Expenditure Survey (NMCES), was conducted in 1977; and the second survey, the National Medical Expenditure Survey (NMES) was carried out in 1987.

MEPS collects detailed information on health care use and expenses, sources of payment, and insurance coverage of individuals and families in the United States. MEPS comprises four component surveys: The Household Component, the Medical Provider Component, the Insurance Component, and the Nursing Home Component.

The following two methodology reports are newly released from the MEPS program. Copies are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse.

Design, Methods, and Field Results of the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Medical Provider Component. MEPS Methodology Report No. 9 (AHRQ Publication No. 00-0028). Machlin, S.R. and Taylor, A.K.

The Medical Provider Component (MPC) is a survey of medical professionals and institutions that provided care to sample individuals in the MEPS Household Component. The MPC's primary focus is to collect data on expenditures for medical services provided to MEPS respondents. MPC data are critical in the development of MEPS national medical expenditure estimates because household respondents are not always a reliable source of information on medical expenditures. This report describes the design of and methods used in the 1996 MEPS MPC. In addition, information is included on MPC objectives, instruments and procedures for data collection, sample sizes, and response rates.

Imputation of Employer Information for the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Insurance Component. MEPS Methodology Report No. 10 (AHRQ Publication No. 00-0039). Sommers, J.P.

The Insurance Component (IC) is a survey of employers, unions, and other providers of health insurance. The IC has two parts. The household sample is linked to sample individuals in the MEPS Household Component. It consists of private- and public-sector employers of MEPS respondents, as well as unions and insurance companies that provide insurance to them. The list sample consists of an independent random sample of private-sector business establishments, governments, and the self-employed with no employees. This report describes the process used to impute values for missing establishment and plan characteristics for the IC in four types of cases: list sample, private sector; list sample, government; household sample, private sector; and household sample, government. The description includes preparation of the data, selection of donors, and the use of donor and other information to create the item for the recipient.

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