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MEPS Home Medical Expenditure Panel Survey
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NHC Survey Instruments: Acronyms and Terms

ADLs Activities of daily living.
AHA American Hospital Association. The NHC CAPI application contained a preloaded Hospital Provider Directory that interviewers used during data collection to obtain address information on hospitals. The AHA file of hospitals was used as the source data for the directory.
AHCPR Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.
APHA American Public Health Association.
B Baseline, initial assessment date for the health status and insurance coverage questions. B was measured at January 1, 1996, for the January 1st sample and at the key admission date for persons sampled as an admission.
BCAVD Closest valid assessment date for baseline health status data.
BP Billing period.
BQ 1. Background Questionnaire, also known as the Facility Background Questionnaire.
2. Used to denote the background history and demographic questions.
BRK Break-off, a partially completed interview.
C A questionnaire disposition code indicating a completed questionnaire.
CADE Computer-assisted data entry.
CAI Computer-assisted interview.
CAPI Computer-assisted personal interview.
CCRC Continuing care retirement center.
CED Community end date, the end date of the most recent time the sampled person lived in the community.
CHAMPUS Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services, a health insurance program that covers both active-duty and retired military personnel, their dependents, and survivors.
CHAMPVA Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs, a health insurance program that covers disabled veterans, their dependents, and survivors.
COMM Community places of residence, one of the four place type designators used in the MEPS NHC. It includes all independent living units of retirement centers as well as private homes or apartments.
CPCQ Cost-of-Patient-Care Questionnaire, the Round 3 Sampled Facility Questionnaire.
CQ 1. Community Questionnaire. 2. Used to denote questions that are asked only of community respondents (e.g., caregiving data).
CR Current residents, sampled persons who were resident in a sampled NH on January 1, 1996. These persons were all sampled during Round 1.
CRQ Consent required, a questionnaire disposition code indicating that consent of the sampled person's next of kin was required prior to data collection.
CRR Community Respondent Roster, a paper questionnaire used to obtain names and locating information on persons nominated as potential community respondents for the sampled person.
CTRL/A A preprogrammed CAPI function key that the interviewer used to add a new text line to a list of items (e.g., a roster) displayed by CAPI.
CTRL/B A preprogrammed CAPI function key that the interviewer used to navigate the CAPI application backward one screen at a time.
CTRL/D A preprogrammed CAPI function key that the interviewer used to delete a text item from a list of items displayed by CAPI; typically used to correct an entry.
CTRL/E A preprogrammed CAPI function key that the interviewer used to break off an interview for resumption later.
CTRL/F A preprogrammed CAPI function key that the interviewer used to navigate the CAPI application forward one screen at a time within an episode of backward movement.
CTRL/G A preprogrammed CAPI function key that the interviewer used to "fast forward" the CAPI application to the next field with no data entry.
CTRL/J A preprogrammed CAPI function key that the interviewer used to open a "jumpback" menu window; used to navigate the application backward across multiple screens simultaneously.
CTRL/K A preprogrammed CAPI function key that the interviewer used to open a comment window.
CVAD Closest valid assessment date for health status items. For January 1st residents, measured at January 1 and December 31, 1996. For persons sampled as admissions, measured at the key admission date and 90 days after the key admission date. Some health status items are also measured across all of 1996.
DE Data entry.
DHHS Department of Health and Human Services.
DK Don't know, indicated in the public use database as a "-8".
DOA Dead on arrival.
DOB Date of birth.
DOD Date of death.
DOI Date of interview.
DON Director of Nursing.
Dx Diagnosis.
EF Eligibility code used to identify an eligible first admission.
ELIG LTC Eligible long-term care place, one of the four place type designators used in the MEPS NHC. It is defined as a facility or distinct part of a facility certified by Medicare as a skilled nursing facility or by Medicaid as a nursing facility, or licensed as a nursing home with three or more beds that provides onsite supervision by an RN or LPN 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
ER Emergency room.
EX 1. Expenditure Questionnaire. 2. Used to denote questions on NH expenditures and sources of payment.
F2 A sampled person whose first admission to the sampled nursing home in 1996 was on or between 1/1/96 and 6/30/96; a person sampled as a first admission during Round 2.
F3 A sampled person whose first admission to the sampled nursing home in 1996 was on or between 7/1/96 and 12/31/96; a person sampled as a first admission during Round 3.
FA 1. First admission, sampled person admitted to the sampled nursing home during 1996 on January 1 or later who had no earlier admission to any eligible nursing home (F2 and F3).
2. Denotes questions in the Round 1 Facility Questionnaire on the structure and basic characteristics of the NH.
Face sheet Document used by the interviewing staff to manage their interviewing assignments.
FACILITY A nursing home, used to denote the NH where data collection is occurring or to indicate data collected from NH sources.
FB Identifies facility-level questions on the services provided by the nursing home.
FC 1. Identifies questions in the Round 3 Sampled Facility Questionnaires on cost of patient care and NH revenues. 2. Facility complete, a questionnaire disposition code.
FCD Final consent denied, a questionnaire disposition code.
FG Facility Records Organizational Grid, a form used by the interviewers to determine the best NH respondents, by type of information to be collected. Also know as the FROG.
FLU Year of first (lifetime) long-term care use.
FQ Facility Questionnaire. An FQ is administered within sampled and transfer nursing homes each round and is used to collect facility-level information about the nursing home.
FR 1. Facility Rate Schedule, information obtained from the NH (usually as a printed document) on the rates charged NH residents. Also known as FRS. 2. Used to denote items associated with the retrieval of the NH's rate schedule. 3. Final refusal, a questionnaire disposition code.
FROG Facility Records Organizational Grid; see FG.
FRS Facility Rate Schedule; see FR.
FTE Full-time equivalent (employee).
HA Used to denote the Health Status questions that measure health status at a point in time (e.g., Baseline and Time 2).
HB Used to denote the Health Status questions that measure health status across time (e.g., all of 1996 while an NH resident).
HC Used to denote questions concerning the data collection method used to collect health status data in the NH.
HCFA Health Care Financing Administration.
HMO Health maintenance organization.
HOSP Hospital, one of the four place type designators used in the MEPS NHC, included acute or long-term care hospitals. In the case of a hospital with a skilled nursing unit or an eligible long-term care unit, the SNF/LTC unit was classified as an eligible LTC place and the remaining hospital units were classified as appropriate (e.g., hospital).
HS Health Status Questionnaire administered in the NH.
IA 1. Income and Assets Questionnaire. 2. Used to denote questions on income and assets.
IAD Inscope admission date, the beginning of the episode of eligible nursing home care; the date of the first admission to the sampled facility, excluding re-admissions following an acute hospital stay.
IADLs Instrumental activities of daily living.
ICD Initial consent denied, a questionnaire disposition code.
ICF Intermediate care facility.
IF First-admission eligibility code used to denote an ineligible first admission.
IN 1. Insurance Questionnaire, also known as the Facility Health Insurance Questionnaire. 2. Used to denote the health insurance coverage questions.
INEL LTC Ineligible long-term care place, one of the four place type designators used in the MEPS NHC. It is defined as a facility or distinct part of a facility that is not certified or licensed as an eligible nursing home but provides services for personal care assistance with dressing or bathing.
INMD Insurance Questionnaire Missing Data Module. If the initial NH respondent was unable to provide the interviewer with data on a sampled person's Medicare and Medicaid coverage, these questions were re-asked of alternative NH respondents in an attempt to acquire complete information on Medicare and Medicaid coverage.
IPC Institutional Population Component of the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey.
January 1st residents The cross-sectional sample of persons who were resident in the NH on January 1, 1996; also known as "current residents."
JCAHO Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
KAD Key admission date, the beginning of the episode of sampled nursing home care; the date of the first admission to the sampled facility, excluding readmission following an acute hospital stay.
KAD unit The unit within the sampled NH where the sampled person resided at the key admission date.
Keyfitz procedure A statistical method for improving the efficiency of sample selection.
Larger facility Some nursing homes are part of a larger organizational or physical structure, such as a continuing care retirement center or a hospital. In these cases, the larger structure (provided it is on the same campus as the NH) is referred to as the "larger facility."
LPN Licensed practical nurse.
LTC Long-term care. An LTC place is defined as a place or distinct unit that provides a residence and some surveillance and has assistance available for persons no longer willing or able to live on their own. This includes the following types of places: nursing home, SNF unit of a hospital or retirement center, residential care facility, assisted living facility, board and care home, domiciliary care home, personal care home, rest home, shelter care facility, community living facility, community residential alternative group home for the mentally disabled, group senior assisted housing for the elderly, group care home, adult group home, foster care home, VA home for adults, hospital for the mentally ill or mentally retarded. Long-term care places/units in the MEPS NHC are further classified as either "eligible LTC" (e.g., a nursing home) or "ineligible LTC" (e.g., a personal care unit).
MD Missing data or Missing Data Module. If the initial NH respondent was unable to provide the interviewer with a key data item (e.g., sex, age, Medicaid insurance coverage, sources of payment), the question (i.e., the missing data item) was re-asked of alternative NH respondents in an attempt to acquire complete information. The key items for which missing data activities were conducted are specified as part of the various CAPI questionnaires in the Missing Data Module section of each questionnaire. Not all questionnaires have a Missing Data Module.
MDS Minimum data set.
MEPS Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.
NA Item not applicable due to a skip pattern, indicated in the public use database as a "-1".
NCHS National Center for Health Statistics.
NF 1. Medicaid certified nursing facility. 2. A new facility, an eligible nursing home (sampled or otherwise) into which a sampled person transferred during 1996; also known as a transfer facility.
NH Nursing home, an eligible long-term care place, defined as a facility or distinct part of a facility certified by Medicare or Medicaid or licensed as a nursing home with three or more beds that provides onsite supervision by an RN or LPN 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
NHC Nursing Home Component of the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.
NHPI National Health Provider Inventory; an updated NHPI served as the sampling frame for the MEPS NHC. To assist in data collection, the sampling frame was preloaded onto each interviewer's laptop computer and used to identify eligible LTC facilities.
NMCES 1977 National Medical Care Expenditure Survey.
NMES 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey.
NMES-2 Alternative name for the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey.
NMES-3 Name previously given to the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.
NNHES National Nursing Home Expenditure Survey, name previously given to the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Nursing Home Component.
NNHS National Nursing Home Survey, a periodic survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics.
NOK Next of kin of the sampled person, the typical respondent for the Community Questionnaire.
Non-nursing beds Beds that are not certified or licensed to provide residents the level of skilled nursing care, rehabilitation services, or other health-related services that is provided in nursing beds (i.e., beds in an INEL LTC unit).
Nursing beds Beds that are certified or licensed to provide residents the same level of skilled nursing care, rehabilitation services, or other health-related services that is provided in nursing beds (i.e., beds in an ELIG LTC unit).
Offsite Outside the premises of the nursing home or facility.
Onsite On the premises of the nursing home or facility.
OTC Over-the-counter, medications available without a prescription.
PF First admission eligibility code used to identify a provisionally eligible first admission. All persons initially classified as PF were eventually classified as eligible or ineligible as additional data became available.
Place roster A listing of all places enumerated during data collection. The place roster is unique for each participating NH and lists all units within the NH and parts of the larger facility (if the NH is part of a larger facility), as well as hospitals, other LTC places, and community residences ascertained during facility-level and person-level data collection in a nursing home.
PM 1. Prescribed Medicines Questionnaire. 2. Used to denote the questions on prescribed medicines administered in the NH.
PRN Standing order, administer as necessary.
QR Questionnaire respondent.
QxQ Question-by-question specifications; QxQ's provide item-specific information to interviewers on the intent of question wording. In the MEPS NHC these were provided online as part of the CAPI questionnaires.
R1 (R2 and R3) The first round (second round and third round) of data collection.
RDY Ready for interviewing, a questionnaire disposition code.
Red Book File A standard reference of the pharmacy industry that contains detailed information on all medications sold in the United States.
REF 1. Final refusal, a questionnaire disposition code. 2. An item refused by a respondent, indicated in the public use database as a "-7".
REF DATE Reference date. The reference date for the MEPS NHC is calendar year 1996. The reference date for a particular person, particular nursing home, or specific questionnaire or question item can vary depending on, among other things, the round of data collection, kind of information to be collected, when the sampled person was sampled, when data collection was initiated in the nursing home, and the current and past location(s) of a sampled person. Questionnaire reference dates can be a point in time or for periods of time. (See this report for details and the MEPS NHC questionnaires for complete reference date specifications.)
Respondent
roster
A facility-level online directory that contains the names, title, and locating information of all potential respondents and all actual respondents within an NH. Questions denoted "RR" indicate items about the questionnaire respondents.
RF Refused; see REF.
RH 1. Residence History Questionnaire. 2. Used to denote person-level questions on residence history.
RN Registered nurse.
ROC Record of calls, used by the interviewers to document all contacts with the nursing homes and community respondents.
RR Respondent roster; see Respondent roster.
RRB Railroad Retirement Board.
SAD Sampled admission date. For January 1st residents, the date of the most recent admission to the sampled facility prior to January 1, 1996. For persons sampled as first admissions, the date of the first admission to the sampled facility during the reference year (January 1 to December 31, 1996).
SAD unit The unit within the sampled NH where the sampled person resided at the sampled admission date.
SAQ 1. Self-Administered Questionnaire; a SAQ, distributed to nursing home respondents during Rounds 1 and 3, collected facility-level staffing information. 2. Used to denote questions from the Self-Administered Questionnaires.
SE First admission eligibility code assigned by the CAPI program to indicate that the sampled person was sampled by the interviewer in error.
SF Sampled facility, one of the sampled nursing homes.
SHIFT/5 A CAPI function key used to indicate that the respondent "will never know" the information asked for. Denoted in the public use database as a "-5".
SNF Medicare skilled nursing facility.
SOP Source of payment.
SP Sampled person.
SS Sampling section, used to denote the question items in the Facility Questionnaire on the sampling of persons within a sampled NH.
SSA Social Security Administration.
SSDI Social Security Disability Income.
SSI Supplemental Security Income.
SSN Social Security Number.
T2 Time 2, the second assessment point for cross-sectional health status data. It is collected only when the sampled person was a resident of a nursing home at Time 2 point. For January 1st residents, Time 2 is measured at December 31, 1996; for admissions, it is measured at the key admission date plus 90 days.
TAD Transfer admission date, the date of admission to the eligible facility, either sampled or new, by a sampled person who transfers out of the originally sampled NH to another NH during the reference year (as reported by the transfer facility).
TAD unit The unit within the transfer facility where the sampled person resided at the time of admission to the transfer facility.
TCVAD Closest valid assessment date for Time 2 health status data; see T2.
Tentative additions An interim disposition regarding the eligibility of a unit within the nursing home or within the larger facility (if the NH is part of a larger facility). All units are eventually classified into one of the four place type designators (e.g., eligible LTC, ineligible LTC).
TIME 2 See T2.
TR Transferred person, used to designate a sampled person within a new facility. These persons were discharged from their sampled nursing home during 1996 and were subsequently admitted to another NH (either a sampled NH or some other NH).
URI Upper respiratory infection.
US Used to denote questions from the Use of Health Care Services Questionnaire.
USE Use of Health Care Services Questionnaire.
VA Veterans Affairs (Department of).