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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recently released data and public use files from the Agency's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), the third in a series of nationally representative surveys of medical care use and expenditures sponsored by AHRQ. MEPS is cosponsored by the National Center for Health Statistics. 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 began in 1996 and is ongoing.
MEPS collects detailed information on health care use and expenses, sources of payment, and insurance coverage of individuals and families from 24,000 individuals and 10,000 households in the United States.
Select MEPS Data & Publications to access the following:
Differentials in Employment-Related Health Insurance Coverage, 2000. Statistical Brief 10.
During the first half of 2000, more than 60 percent (71 million) of working Americans under 65 years of age had health insurance they obtained through their primary place of employment, according to this new statistical brief. Other details on characteristics of workers and health insurance include:
- In the first half of 2000, among occupational groups, managers and administrators were most likely to be insured (73.3 percent). Farm laborers were least likely to have insurance through their own workplace (28.4 percent).
- Higher hourly earnings were associated with a greater likelihood of workers having health insurance coverage through their primary place of employment. While only one-third of workers making less than minimum wage ($5.15 per hour) had insurance coverage from their primary employer in the first half of 2000, 83.2 percent of workers making more than $21 per hour had insurance.
- Employees who belonged to a labor union were much more likely to be covered by health insurance through their main job than nonunion workers (88 percent of union workers vs. 57.6 percent of nonunion workers).
- Government employees had higher rates of health insurance coverage through their own workplace in 2000 than employees in private industry.
Select for details of Differentials in Employment-Related Health Insurance Coverage, 2000 (PDF Help).
Health Insurance Status of U.S. Workers, 2001. Statistical Brief 11.
Data from the 2001 MEPS indicate that nearly two-thirds (65.2 percent) of Americans under 65 years of age had job-related health insurance during the first half of 2001. However, employment does not necessarily lead to health insurance coverage for many working Americans. Slightly more than a sixth (17.7 percent) of working Americans ages 16-64 were uninsured during the first half of 2001 (approximately 23 million people). These workers represented half (51 percent) of the total uninsured population. Data are available for download only.
Select for the statistical brief (PDF Help).
Children's Access to Necessary Health Care, Fall 2001. Statistical Brief 12.
This MEPS Statistical Brief summarizes an access and quality of care measure pertaining to the health care received by noninstitutionalized U.S. children. It presents preliminary findings based on the data obtained from the 2001 MEPS child supplement. All of the questions refer to events experienced in the last 12 months. Only differences that are statistically significant at the 0.05 level are discussed in the text. These data are available for download only.
Select to access the statistical brief (PDF Help).
Asthma Treatment: Use of Medications and Devices, 2000. Statistical Brief 13.
More than 25 million Americans have been told by a physician or other health care provider that they have asthma, according to MEPS data collected in 2000. In the 12 months prior to their interview, 6.5 million adults and 3.2 million children had an asthma attack. Asthma attacks can vary from mild to life-threatening. This is the first time that MEPS has collected comprehensive data on asthma treatments for adults and children in the United States.
The detailed findings include:
- Among people who had an asthma attack in the last 12 months, more than half of adults reported using inhaled corticosteroids, compared with over 40 percent of children. Females were more likely than males to use inhaled steroids.
- Children between ages 0-17 were more likely (91.2 percent) than adults ages 18 and over (84.3 percent) to use asthma medication other than inhaled steroids.
- Nearly one-third of the population who reported an asthma attack in the last 12 months also reported having a peak flow meter in the home. A peak flow meter is a hand-held device used to measure the user's ability to expel air from the lungs.
- Among children, boys were more likely than girls to report having an asthma attack in the last 12 months. However, among adults, women were more than twice as likely as men to report an asthma attack in the last 12 months.
Beginning in 2000, MEPS was enhanced to collect data from people about selected chronic conditions and the preventive services or treatments they use. These new measures will enable researchers to perform in-depth analyses on the quality of health care received by Americans.
Select to access the statistical brief (PDF Help).
Update to the MEPS Table Compendium.
The MEPS Household Table Compendium now includes 1999 medical expenditure data and a new feature that allows users to customize the medical expenditure tables. The following customizations can be made: record selection, age group selection, health insurance status groups, and perceived health status group selection. After making the choices above, users will be able to view the newly customized tables. Due to the complex survey design of MEPS, appropriate statistical tests are needed to make accurate statistical inferences. Therefore, a table of standard errors accompanies each table of estimates. Additional sets of tables for other years are forthcoming.
MEPSnet/Household Component; 1999 Data.
The 1999 MEPSnet Household Component file is a subset of the recently released 1999 Full Year Consolidated Data File (i.e., HC-038). The MEPSnet/HC file also has been augmented with some supplementary variables. The data source selection tab in MEPSnet allows users to select a data year to use in their analysis. Currently, 1999, 1998, 1997, and 1996 full-year, person-level files are available that contain detailed data on survey administration, demographics, employment, health status, health insurance, income, and health care use and expenditures. Beside each file is the image of a lower case letter "i" with a circle around it, which is linked to a page where users can obtain documentation and a codebook for this data file.
The 1999 MEPSnet Household Component file is available on the MEPS Web site.
MEPS HC-044: 1999 Supplemental Public Use File.
This data release is available for download only. It is intended to supplement MEPS variables previously released for 1999. It is a person-level file containing health insurance variables. In order to use these variables, this file should be linked to the 1999 Consolidated Full-Year Use and Expenditure File (HC-038), which contains all previously released 1999 person-level data including demographic and socioeconomic information.
MEPS HC-048: Panel 3 Longitudinal Public Use File.
This is a 2-year longitudinal file derived from the respondents to the MEPS Panel 3 1998 sample. The individuals on this data set represent those who were in the MEPS population for all or part of the 1998-1999 period. The file contains a weight variable (LONGWTP3) that, when applied to the people who participated in both 1998 and 1999, will enable the user to make national estimates of person-level changes in selected variables (e.g., health insurance, health status, utilization and expenditures). In addition, LONGWTP3 can be used to develop cross-sectional estimates for the civilian noninstitutionalized population in each year based on only the Panel 3 sample. To obtain analytic variables, the records on this file must be linked to the 1998 and 1999 MEPS public use data files using the sample person identifier (DUPERSID).
MEPS HC-51B: 2000 Dental Visits.
This public use data file is one in a series of event-level public use data files drawn from the 2000 MEPS Household Component. Released as an ASCII file with SAS format statements and in SAS transport format, the dental visits file provides detailed information on dental events for a nationally representative sample of the civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States during the 2000 calendar year. The file includes the date of the dental event, type of provider seen, whether the visit was due to an accident, the reason for the dental event, and whether or not medicines were prescribed.
MEPS HC-51C, 2000: Other Medical Expenses.
This public use data file is one in a series of event-level public use data files drawn from the 2000 MEPS Household Component. Released as an ASCII file with SAS format statements and in SAS transport format, this public use file provides information on the purchase of and expenditures for medical equipment, supplies, glasses, and other medical items for a nationally representative sample of the civilian noninstitutionalized population of the United States. It can be used to make estimates of the use and expenditures associated with medical items during the 2000 calendar year.
MEPS HC-51H: 2000 Home Health File.
This public use data file presents household-reported information on expenditures for home health visits, including the type of provider, type of services received, length of the visit, reason for the visit, expenditures, and sources of payment. Released as an ASCII file with SAS format statements and in SAS transport format, this public use file can be used to make estimates of the use and expenditures associated with home health care during the 2000 calendar year.
Select to access the downloadable data files.
MEPS Projected Data, 2000-2008.
The MEPS Projected Data Web site has been updated (February 2003) to reflect the recent public release of the HC-038 1999 Full Year Consolidated Data File. Projected data files are now available from 2000-2008. The projected figures in documentation tables 4 through 6 for 1999 have been replaced with actual estimates from the recently released 1999 MEPS. These files, which are available for download, provide projected health expenditures for each year between 2000 and 2008 by type of service and payment source for the civilian, noninstitutionalized household population and subgroups therein defined by selected demographic characteristics. The data have been projected from the 1996 MEPS data by reweighting the population using vital statistics data on demographic, mortality, and fertility changes in the U.S. population and census predictions for changes into the future. Projected household health expenditures have been aligned to adjusted national health expenditures for each year from the National Health Accounts provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Documentation for these files includes statistical tables with various trends from the true MEPS between 1996 and 1999 and projected MEPS between 2000 and 2008.
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