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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) offers practical, research-based tools and other resources to help a variety of health care organizations, providers and others make care safer in all health care settings.
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The MEPS Insurance Component fields questionnaires to private and public sector employers to collect data on the number and types of private health insurance plans offered, benefits associated with these plans, annual premiums, annual contributions by employers and employees, eligibility requirements, and employer characteristics.
The MEPS Medical Provider Component (MPC) collects data from a sample of providers (physicians, hospitals, home health agencies, and pharmacies) who provided medical care to MEPS Household Component respondents. The MPC collects data on dates of visits/services, use of medical care services, charges and sources of payments and amounts, and diagnoses and procedure codes for medical visits/encounters.
Access to health care information is collected in the Access to Care section of the MEPS-Household Component questionnaire. Topics include family members' origin and preferred languages, family members' usual source of care, characteristics of the usual source of health care providers, satisfaction with and access to the usual source of health care provider, and access to medical treatment, dental treatment, and prescription medicines. In addition to the tables and publications below, person-level data files with access to health care variables can be downloaded for analysis.
Children can be identified by the age variables in the MEPS-Household Component, allowing most MEPS analyses to be performed for children.
Using the age and the insurance coverage variables from the MEPS allows for analysis of children's health insurance coverage. MEPS also collects data on coverage provided by the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
Because demographic characteristics are collected in the MEPS-Household Component, health care disparities can be examined for any topics within the MEPS Household Component survey.
The elderly can be identified in MEPS-Household Component. Their expenditures, prescription drug usage, and utilization can be analyzed. In addition to the tables and publications below, data files can be downloaded for further analyses.
Projected household expenditure data from the 2002 MEPS Household Component file aligned with the 2002 National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA). Projected expenditures are calculated in a two-step process. First, core data from the 2002 NHEA-aligned MEPS file are projected to each end year through 2016 by adjusting MEPS person weights with Census projections for population totals, fertility and mortality over time. Then, the re-weighted NHEA-aligned MEPS expenditures are calibrated annually by type of service and source of payment categories so that growth in the re-weighted NHEA-aligned MEPS expenditures matches growth in the projected NHEA. Users should be aware that these estimates are surrounded by uncertainty from a wide variety of sources.
Health care costs (both charges and payments) are collected for all persons for each medical event they experience in the year, including the amount from each payment source. Charges are the dollar amounts asked ("charge") for a service by a health care provider. This is often different from the actual payments made to providers. Expenditure estimates are based on payments, not charges. More specifically, expenditures in MEPS are comprised of direct payments for care provided during the year, including out-of-pocket payments and payments by private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and other sources. In addition to the tables, query tool, and publications below, person-level and event-level data files with health care expenditure variables can be downloaded for analysis.
In MEPS, a medical condition is defined as a physical or mental health problem that can be identified by a health care professional by examining a patient and using tests. Certain conditions have been designated as priority conditions (PRIOLIST=1) because of their prevalence, expense, or relevance to policy. Some are long-term, life-threatening conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, emphysema, high cholesterol, hypertension, ishemic heart disease, and stroke. Others are chronic manageable conditions, including arthritis, and asthma. Conditions data were collected from household respondents during each round as verbatim text and coded by professional coders using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision.