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AHRQ expenditure surveys are subject of new book

A new resource, entitled Informing American Health Care Policy: The Dynamics of Medical Expenditure and Insurance Surveys, 1977-1996, provides a critical perspective on national medical expenditure surveys from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The surveys are the National Medical Care Expenditure Survey, conducted in 1977, the National Medical Expenditure Survey, conducted in 1987, and the ongoing Medical Expenditure Panel Survey that began in 1996.

The book includes essays from well-known economists, sociologists, and survey researchers who review the evolution of the surveys, the research findings and their relevance to policy, and lessons learned from the survey methods. The authors reflect on the challenges faced in adapting the surveys in the future to make them more effective and responsive to changes in health care delivery and policy. They also discuss how AHRQ's surveys have contributed to the Nation's basic understanding of how individuals and families use and pay for health care and how the surveys have influenced strategy and changes in national health policy.

A limited number of free copies of the 256-page hardcover book, Informing American Health Care Policy (AHRQ Publication No. OM 99-0018), are available from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse. When free copies are exhausted, the book may be purchased from the publisher, Jossey-Bass, for $44.95 plus shipping. Visit the Jossey-Bass Web site at for more information, or call them at 800-956-7739.

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