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MEPS Household Component

Annual Contractor Methodology Report 2017


June 15, 2018

Prepared for:
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, Maryland 20857

Prepared by:
Westat
1600 Research Boulevard
Rockville, Maryland 20850-3129
301-251-1500


Table of Contents

Introduction
1 Sample
1.1 Sample Composition
1.2 Sample Delivery and Processing
2 Instrument and Materials Design
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Changes to CAPI Instrument for 2017
2.3 Testing of the Questionnaire and Interviewer Management System
2.4 Changes to Materials and Procedures for 2017
3 Recruiting and Training
3.1 Field Interviewer Recruiting for 2017
3.2 2017 Interviewer Training
3.2.1 New Interviewer Training
3.2.2 Experienced Interviewer Training – Distance Learning Program
4 Data Collection
4.1 Data Collection Procedures
4.2 Data Collection Results: Interviewing
4.3 Data Collection Results: Authorization Form Signing Rates
4.4 Data Collection Results: Self-Administered Questionnaire (SAQ), Diabetes Care Supplement (DCS), and Cancer Self-Administered Questionnaire (CSAQ) Collection Rates
4.5 Data Collection Results: Patient Profile Collection
4.6 Quality Control
4.7 Security Incidents
5 Home Office Support of Field Activities
5.1 Preparation for Field Activities
5.2 Support During Data Collection
6 Data Processing and Data Delivery
6.1 Data Delivery
6.2 Processing to Support Data Delivery
Appendix A Comprehensive Tables – Household Survey
Table 1-1 Initial MEPS sample size and number of NHIS PSUs, all panels
Table 1-2 Data collection periods and starting RU-level sample sizes, spring 2010 through fall 2017
Table 1-3 Percentage of NHIS households with partially completed interviews in panels 3 to 23
Table 1-4 Distribution of panel 22 sample by sample domain
Table 2-1 Supplements to the CAPI core questionnaire (including hard-copy materials) for 2017
Table 3-1 Spring attrition rate among new and experienced interviewers, 2013-2017
Table 3-2 Fall attrition rate among new and experienced interviewers, 2013-2017
Table 3-3 Components of the 2017 training program
Table 4-1 Data collection schedule and number of weeks per round of data collection,2017
Table 4-2 Average Weekly Completion and Success Rates for High Potential and Remainder (Non-High Potential) Cases during High Potential Phase, Spring 2017
Table 4-3 MEPS HC data collection results, panels 14 through 22
Table 4-4 Response rates by data collection year, 2010-2017
Table 4-5 Summary of MEPS round 1 response and nonresponse, 2012-2017 panels
Table 4-6 Summary of MEPS round 1 response, 2012-2017 panels, by NHIS completion status
Table 4-7 Summary of MEPS panel 22 round 1 response rates, by sample domain by NHIS completion status
Table 4-8 Summary of MEPS round 1 results for RUs who ever refused, panels 15-22
Table 4-9 Summary of MEPS round 1 results for RUs who were ever traced, panels 15-22
Table 4-10 Interview timing comparison, panels 15 through 22 (mean minutes per interview, single-session interviews)
Table 4-11 Mean contact attempts by NHIS completion status, round 1 of panels 20-22
Table 4-12 Signing rates for medical provider authorization forms for panels 15 through 22
Table 4-13 Signing rates for pharmacy authorization forms for panels 15 through 22
Table 4-14 Results of Self-Administered Questionnaire (SAQ) collection for panels 15 through 22
Table 4-15 Results of Diabetes Care Supplement (DCS) collection for panels 14 through 21
Table 4-16 Cancer Self-Administered Questionnaire (CSAQ) collection rates
Table 4-17 Results of patient profile collection in 2012 through 2017
Table 5-1 Number and percent of respondents who called the respondent information line, 2014-2017
Table 5-2 Calls to the respondent information line, 2016 and 2017
Table 6-1 Delivery schedule for major MEPS files, 2015-2017
Table A-1 Data collection periods and starting RU-level sample sizes, all panels
Table A-2 MEPS household survey data collection results, all panels
Table A-3 Signing rates for medical provider authorization forms
Table A-4 Signing rates for pharmacy authorization forms
Table A-5 Results of Self-Administered Questionnaire (SAQ) collection
Table A-6 Results of Diabetes Care Supplement (DCS) collection*
Table A-7 Calls to respondent information line
Table A-8 Files delivered during 2017

Introduction

The Household Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS-HC, Contract 290-2012-00005C, awarded September 8, 2012 and Contract 290-2016-00004I, awarded July 1, 2016) is the central component of the long-term research effort sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to provide timely and accurate data on access to, use of, and payments for health care services by the U.S. civilian non-institutionalized population. The project has been in operation since 1996, each year producing a series of annual estimates of health insurance coverage, health care utilization, and health care expenditures. This report documents the principal design, training, data collection, and data processing activities of the MEPS-HC for survey year 2017.

Data are collected for the MEPS-HC through a series of overlapping household panels. Each year a new panel is enrolled for a series of 5 in-person interviews conducted over a two and a half year period. Each year a panel completing its fifth interview ends its participation. This report describes work performed for all of the panels active during calendar year 2017. Design work conducted during the year consisted of updates and testing for the instruments fielded during the Fall of 2016 and Spring of 2017. Data collection operations in 2017 were for Panel 20 Round 5, Panel 21, Rounds 3 and 4, and Panel 22, Rounds 1 and 2. Data processing activity focused on delivery of full year utilization and expenditure files for calendar year 2015.

The report touches lightly on procedures and operations that remained unchanged from prior years, focusing primarily on results of the 2017 operations and features of the project that were new, changed, or enhanced for 2017. Tables in the body of the text highlight 2017 results, with limited comparison to prior years. A set of tables showing data collection results over the history of the project is in Appendix A.

Chapter 1 of the report describes the 2017 sample and activities associated with preparing the sample for fielding. Chapters 2 through 5 discuss activities associated with the data collection for 2017: updates to the survey questionnaire and field procedures; field staff recruiting and training; data collection operations and results; and home office support of field activities. Chapter 6 describes data processing and data delivery activities.

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1. Sample

Each year a new, nationally representative sample for the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component (MEPS-HC) is drawn from among households responding to the previous year’s National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Households in a new panel participate in a series of 5 interviews that collect data covering 2 full calendar years. Data from 2 panels—one completing its first year in the study (Round 3) and one completing its second year (Round 5)—are combined each year to produce a series of annual estimation files.

The sample for the new MEPS panel, Panel 22, fielded in 2017, was selected from the new sample design implemented for the NHIS in 2016 with households selected that participated in the NHIS during the first three quarters of 2016. They were drawn from NHIS Panels 1 and 4, the NHIS panels designated for MEPS. This chapter describes the sample drawn for 2016 and steps taken to prepare the new sample for fielding.

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1.1 Sample Composition

Table 1-1 shows the starting sample sizes for all MEPS panels through Panel 22 and the number of MEPS PSUs from which each panel was drawn. The change in the number of PSUs for Panel 12 reflects redesign of the NHIS sample following the decennial census while the number of PSUs for Panel 22 reflects the NHIS redesign for 2016. The MEPS sample units are ‘reporting units’ (RUs)—groups of related persons living at the address selected for the NHIS at the time of the NHIS interview. Members of the NHIS households who move over the course of the MEPS interviews are split into separate RUs, followed, and interviewed at their new address.

MEPS data collection is conducted in two main fielding periods each year. During the January-June period, Round 1 of the new panel and Rounds 3 and 5 of the two continuing panels are fielded, with the panel in Round 5 retiring at mid-year. During the July-December period, Round 2 of the new panel and Round 4 of the remaining continuing panel are fielded. Table 1-2 summarizes the combined workload for the January-June and July-December periods from Spring 2010 through Fall 2017.

Table 1-1. Initial MEPS sample size and number of NHIS PSUs, all panels

Panel Initial sample size (RUs)* MEPS PSUs
1 10,799 195
2 6,461 195
3 5,410 195
4 7,103 100
5 5,533 100
6 11,026 195
7 8,339 195
8 8,706 195
9 8,939 195
10 8,748 195
11 9,654 195
12 7,467 183
13 9,939 183
14 9,899 183
15 8,968 183
16 10,417 183
17 9,931 183
18 9,950 183
19 9,970 183
20 10,854 183
21 9,851 183
22 9,835 168

* RU: Reporting unit.

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Over the years shown in Table 1-2, the combined Spring and Fall workload has ranged from a low of 37,555 in 2010 to a high of 41,135 in 2013; the combined workload for 2017 was 39,169 RUs. The interviewing workload during the Spring field period, when 3 panels are active, is substantially larger than during the Fall. In 2017, the Spring workload of 24,773 RUs was the third highest of the 8 years shown.

Each new MEPS panel includes some oversampling of population groups of particular analytic interest. Since 2010 (Panel 15), the set of sample domains has included oversamples of Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics. All households set aside in the NHIS for MEPS that have at least one household member in any of these three categories (Asian, Black, or Hispanic) are included in the MEPS sample with certainty. White and other race households have been subsampled at varying rates across the years.

Table 1-2. Data collection periods and starting RU-level sample sizes, spring 2010 through fall 2017

Spring/Fall Data Collection Sample Size
January-June 2010 23,770
Panel 13 Round 5 7,576
Panel 14 Round 3 7,226
Panel 15 Round 1 8,968
July-December 2010 13,785
Panel 14 Round 4 6,974
Panel 15 Round 2 6,811
January-June 2011 23,693
Panel 14 Round 5 6,845
Panel 15 Round 3 6,431
Panel 16 Round 1 10,417
July-December 2011 14,802
Panel 15 Round 4 6,254
Panel 16 Round 2 8,548
January-June 2012 24,247
Panel 15 Round 5 6,156
Panel 16 Round 3 8,160
Panel 17 Round 1 9,931
July-December 2012 16,161
Panel 16 Round 4 8,048
Panel 17 Round 2 8,113
January-June 2013 25,788
Panel 16 Round 5 7,969
Panel 17 Round 3 7,869
Panel 18 Round 1 9,950
July-December 2013 15,347
Panel 17 Round 4 7,656
Panel 18 Round 2 7,691
January-June 2014 24,857
Panel 17 Round 5 7,485
Panel 18 Round 3 7,402
Panel 19 Round 1 9,970
July-December 2014 14,665
Panel 18 Round 4 7,203
Panel 19 Round 2 7,462
January-June 2015 25,185
Panel 18 Round 5 7,163
Panel 19 Round 3 7,168
Panel 20 Round 1 10,854
July-December 2015 15,247
Panel 19 Round 4 6,946
Panel 20 Round 2 8,301
January – June 2016 24,694
Panel 19 Round 5 6,856
Panel 20 Round 3 7,987
Panel 21 Round 1 9,851
July – December 2016 15,390
Panel 20 Round 4 7,729
Panel 21 Round 2 7,661
January – June 2017 24,773
Panel 20 Round 5 7,611
Panel 21 Round 3 7,327
Panel 22 Round 1 9,835
July – December 2017 14,396
Panel 21 Round 4 7,025
Panel 22 Round 2 7,371

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The annual samples also include a percentage of households classified as ‘partial completes’ in the NHIS, reflecting the fact that less than a full NHIS interview was obtained. The partial completes are, as a group, more difficult to complete in MEPS than the NHIS ‘full completes’ and therefore receive special attention during data collection. Table 1-3 (column 2) shows the percentage of NHIS interviews classified as “partially complete” in Panels 3 through 22.

Beginning in 2011 (Panel 16), a new sample domain was created by dividing what in prior years had been a single domain, the ‘White/Other’ domain, into two domains, one consisting of NHIS partial completes, the other of NHIS completes. The partial completes were sampled at a lower rate than the full completes in order to lessen the impact on the field effort resulting from the difficulty of gaining the cooperation of these households. The last two columns in Table 1-3 show the subsampling rates for the two groups. The partial completes in the white, other domain were sub- sampled at rates ranging from 53 percent in Panel 20 to 40 percent in Panel 17.

Table 1-3. Percentage of NHIS households with partially completed interviews in panels 3 to 22

Panel Percentage with partially completed interviews Subsampling rate for NHIS completes in “White, other” domain Subsampling rate for partial completes in “White, other” domain
3 10    
4 21    
5 24    
6 22    
7 17    
8 20    
9 19    
10 16    
11 23    
12 19    
13 25    
14 26    
15 21    
16 25 79 46
17 19 51 40
18 22 63 43
19 18 66 42
20 19 84 53
21 22 81 49
22 15 77 49

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* The figures in the second column of the table are the proportion of partial completes in the total delivered sample, after subsampling. The figures in the third and fourth columns are subsampling rates applied to the two White/Other subdomains in Panels 16 through 23.

Table 1-4 shows the distribution of the Panel 22 sample by sample domain.

Table 1-4. Distribution of panel 22 sample by sample domain

Sample domain Number Percent
Asian 687 7.0
Black 1,438 14.6
Hispanic 1,877 19.1
White, other 5,833 59.3
NHIS complete 4,959 50.4
NHIS partial complete 874 8.9
Total 9,835  

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1.2 Sample Delivery and Processing

The 2017 MEPS sample was received from AHRQ and NCHS in two deliveries. The first delivery, containing households sampled from the first two quarters of the 2016 NHIS, was received on September 19, 2016 with a re-delivery on September 23 to correct a weighting issue. Households selected from the third quarter of the NHIS were delivered on December 2, 2016.

The September delivery of the first two-thirds of the new sample is instrumental to the project’s schedule for launching interviewing each year in early January. The partial file gives insight into the demographic and geographic distribution of the households in the new panel. This information, when combined with information on older panels continuing in the new year, guides project decisions on the number and location of new interviewers to recruit. With the change in NHIS sample design, the September receipt of the first two-thirds of the new sample was particularly important. In addition to the standard review of the sample files, Westat also began work organizing the new sample, blending it within the structure of the current sample in the old design. As a result of this initial work, PSUs were mapped and MEPS supervisory regions were re-configured to accommodate the differences in sample sizes between the old and new NHIS designs. Of the 168 PSUs in the combined 2017 sample (Panel 20 Round 5, Panel 21 Round 3, and Panel 22 Round 1), 120 are continuing as part of the NHIS sample redesign, 29 will leave with the end of Panel 21, and 19 new PSUs came into MEPs with the 2017 panel.

Upon receipt of the first portion of the 2017 sample, project staff also reviewed the NHIS sample file formats to identify any new variables or values and to make any necessary changes to the project programs that use the sample file information. Following this initial review, staff proceeded with the standard processing through which the NHIS households are reconfigured to conform to MEPS reporting unit definitions and prepared the files needed for advance mailouts and interviewer assignments. The early sample delivery also allows time for checking and updating NHIS addresses to improve the quality of the initial mailouts and to identify households that have moved since the NHIS interview.

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2. Instrument and Materials Design

2.1 Introduction

Each year, the project makes a number of changes to the computer-assisted (CAPI) instrument used to collect MEPS data and to the field procedures followed by the interviewers who collect the data.

With the concurrent work on the CAPI modernization task as part of the technology upgrade and the planned implementation in 2018, instrument changes to the 2017 instrument were kept to a minimum. Any change made to the current instrument must also be part of the specification for the modernization instrument and be folded into the specification, programming, and testing routine. Changes that were made to sections that have been programmed are risky to make and require an additional testing iteration on an already challenging schedule.

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2.2 Changes to CAPI Instrument for 2017

The only revision for 2017 CAPI instrument involved a modification so that only new RU members or persons reporting cancer for the first time were prompted to complete a Cancer Self-Administered Questionnaire in Round 3. All adult member RU members who reported having cancer in Round 1 were asked to complete the CSAQ, following the pattern established in the prior year.

Supplements to the CAPI Instrument

Table 2-1 shows the supplements in the CAPI instrument for the rounds administered in calendar year 2017. The pattern for 2017 remained unchanged from the prior year.

The SAQ, Your Health and Health Opinions was redesigned for administration in the fall rounds of 2017. The Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) replaced the SF012v2 Health Survey as the new source of the 2017 SAQ questions. In addition, several questions had wording changes or response category changes, such as reversed scales or an additional value in a scale. Replacing the open text field for respondent/proxy completion to coded relationship categories eliminated the need for manual review and upcoding of text fields.

Table 2-1. Supplements to the CAPI core questionnaire (including hard-copy materials) for 2017

Supplement Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5
Child Health   X   X  
Quality Supplement     X   X
Preventive Care     X   X
Access to Care   X   X  
Income     X   X
Assets         X
Medical Provider Authorization Forms X X X X X
Pharmacy Authorization Forms   X X X X
Your Health and Health Opinions (SAQ)   X Round 2 follow up X Round 4 follow up
Cancer SAQ X   X    
Diabetes Care Supplement (SAQ)     X   X
Institutional History Form   X X X X
Priority Condition Enumeration X New RU members Only X New RU members only X

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2.3 Testing of the Questionnaire and Interviewer Management System

The testing for the Spring 2017 (Rounds 1/3/5) application was completed in November 2016. Testing of the Fall 2017 instrument was completed in May 2017.

All instrument testing followed a prescribed, multi-stage path, with specific testing tasks coordinated across design and systems groups. Testing began early in the development cycle as programmers tested their work on a flow basis to ensure that the modifications to the instruments were in accord with the specifications developed by design staff. Once programming was completed, design and systems staff at Westat and project staff from AHRQ tested the full CAPI instrument during alpha and beta test periods. Required changes identified during testing were implemented before the CAPI instruments were ‘frozen’, approximately 6 to 8 weeks before the Spring and Fall data collection cycles began.

Each cycle of testing included components focusing on specific aspects of the instrument and supporting field management system: verification of the application against the instrument specifications, testing a variety of training scenarios to simulate data collection situations, overall usability of the instrument and supporting systems, focused testing on specific features such as help screen functionality and medical provider directory searches, historical testing in which data entered into the revised application are compared to previously completed cases to ensure the data are captured and stored as intended, and integration testing of the CAPI application in the context of the full set of management and support systems needed during active data collection.

Additional testing components, including enhanced integration testing and ‘live’ testing, were conducted. The enhanced integration testing allows project staff to check electronic Face Sheet information, test the Interviewer Assignment Sheet, and make entries into the electronic record of calls and refusal evaluation form. The live testing component uses information derived from actual cases to verify that all management information on the laptop is being brought forward correctly from previous rounds. Using actual case data also allows staff to check uncommon paths through the MEPS instrument so that specific changes to the questionnaire can be thoroughly tested.

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2.4 Changes to Materials and Procedures for 2017

The manuals and the materials for the 2017 field effort were updated as needed to reflect changes to the questionnaire and management systems. Below is a description of the key changes to the materials and procedures.

Instructional Manuals

The field interviewer manual was updated to address changes in field procedures and updates to the Interviewer Management System (IMS).

Electronic Materials

The electronic Face Sheet provides interviewers with information needed to contact their assigned households and familiarize themselves with the composition of the household and relevant details about their prior history with the survey in preparation for coming interviews. The Interviewer Assignment Sheet supports follow-up for Authorization Forms and SAQs not completed at the time of the interview.

Advance Contact and Other Case Materials

All respondent letters, monthly planners, and self-administered questionnaires were updated with the appropriate year references, and the Income Job Aid and MEPS statistical charts were updated with 2014 data. Respondent letters, the community authorization letter, authorization form booklet, and the certificate of appreciation were updated with the signature of the new director for AHRQ.

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3. Recruiting and Training

3.1 Field Interviewer Recruiting for 2017

Recruiting of new field interviewers for 2017 began in November 2016, a month later than usual. This delay in the recruiting start up was result of changes in the MEPS sample frame for Panel 22. The 2017 MEPS sample was drawn from the NHIS sample which was re-designed in 2016 resulting in a significant change in the allocation of MEPS PSUs: 19 new PSUs come into the MEPS sample and 29 PSUs were identified as leaving the MEPS sample following the end of Panel 21. Recruiting needs were established by estimating the full workload for the new panel and adding it to the existing workloads in Panels 20 and 21. The projected total caseload in each PSU was used to estimate the number of interviewers needed. This number was compared to the number of active interviewers on staff in each PSU to determine the PSU-level staffing recommendations. Based on this assessment, Westat planned to recruit 104 new interviewers, with a goal of having about 450 interviewers actively working during the Spring 2017 data collection period.

For the 2017 recruiting, MEPS used the Westat web-based recruitment management system through which applicants apply online. A total of 93 interviewers attended training and 87 completed the program. With the addition of these new trainees, the project began 2017 data collection with a total of 446 interviewers. Of this total, 18 new interviewers and 24 experienced interviewers were lost to attrition during the Spring interviewing rounds. An additional 10 new interviewers and 44 experienced interviewers were lost during the Fall rounds. Total attrition for the year was 21.5 percent, higher than the attrition rates in 2014 - 2016. This increase in the total attrition for 2017 was based, in large part, on the number of existing PSUs leaving the sample after Panel 21 Round 5.

The breakdown of interviewer attrition is shown in Tables 3-1 and 3-2. Table 3-1 shows the overall attrition rate at the end of the Spring 2017 data collection period, from 2014 through 2017. Note that the total Spring 2017 attrition rate was 9.4 percent, the lowest in many years. This reflects a very successful recruiting effort with more reliable hires and close management of data collection by the field supervisors that aided in retaining staff.

Table 3-1. Spring attrition rate among new and experienced interviewers, 2013-2017

Data collection period New interviewers lost Experienced interviewers lost Total interviewers lost
# % # % # %
Spring 2013 21 21.9% 46 12.0% 67 14.8%
Spring 2014 26 17.8% 30 9.0% 56 11.6%
Spring 2015 28 34.1% 35 9.0% 63 13.5%
Spring 2016 20 26.7% 28 7.7% 48 10.9%
Spring 2017 18 20.7% 24 6.7% 42 9.4%

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Table 3-2 shows the overall attrition rate during the Fall data collection period. Note that the total Fall 2017 attrition rate was 13.4 percent, a rate that is comparable to that experienced in 2013 when the MEPS sample changed in response to the 2010 Census. The annual attrition rate for 2017 increased to 21.5 percent and can be attributed to the loss of experienced interviewers in PSUs that are leaving the MEPS sample.

Table 3-2. Fall attrition rate among new and experienced interviewers, 2013-2017

Table 3-2. Fall attrition rate among new and experienced interviewers, 2013-2016

Data collection period New interviewers lost Experienced interviewers lost Total interviewers lost
# % # % # %
Fall 2013 9 15.8% 46 13.6% 55 13.9%
Fall 2014 16 13.3% 22 7.2% 38 8.9%
Fall 2015 6 11.1% 28 7.9% 34 8.3%
Fall 2016 6 11.1% 24 7.1% 30 7.7%
Fall 2017 10 14.5% 44 13.1% 54 13.4%

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3.2 2017 Interviewer Training

The key interviewer training efforts in 2017 included (1) the annual in-person training for newly hired interviewers, and (2) distance learning trainings for both new and experienced interviewers. One goal in late 2016 and early 2017 was to continue to provide greater continuity between the training for new hires and that for experienced staff. This training, developed in 2015, re-tooled content from the 2014 in-person refresher training on data quality and packaged it to be administered remotely to interviewers completing their first year working on MEPS. It employs a hybrid approach, combining self-paced e-Learning modules accessed through Westat’s Learning Management System (LMS) with web conferences moderated by field management staff.

Table 3-3. Components of the 2017 training program

Training Efforts
In person Home study/remote
2017 New Experienced 2017 New Experienced
December 2016
Home study for 2017 Spring data collection for experiences interviewers       X
Data Quality refresher training for MEPS Field Interviewers Class of 2016       X
January – February 2017
Data Quality web conferences for MEPS Field Interviewers Class of 2016 (part of the Data Quality home study beginning in December 2016)       X
Home study for new interviewers as introduction to in-person training     X  
New interviewer training X      
Post-classroom home study for new interviewers (part 1)     X  
March 2017
Post-classroom home study for new interviewers (part 2)     X  
April 2017
Newsletter     X  
June 2017
Round 2/4 home study     X X
September, 2017
Newsletter     X X
October – December 2017
Additional home studies for Experienced interviewers     X X
December 2017
Train-the-Trainer Workshop for spring 2018 training team members        
Ongoing each month
Data Quality Coaching, FS led     X X

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3.2.1 New Interviewer Training

The overall structure for training new interviewers in 2017 followed the pattern established in prior years. It began with home study, followed by an in-person training conducted in Los Angeles, California between January 26 and February 2, and completion of a two-part post-classroom home study component.

The pre-classroom home study package included a project laptop, and an interactive self-paced workbook with exercises and on-line modules administered through Westat’s Learning Management System (LMS). Originally designed in 2009 to incorporate materials previously covered in the longer, 11-day in-person training, the home study had a completion time of about 20 hours. The package was restructured for 2016 to reduce administration time to an estimated 16 hours and eliminate the need for early distribution of the Interviewer Field Procedures Manual. The content was consolidated and contained a series of 17 self-contained job aids and ‘quick start’ guides that could be easily carried into the field for reference. Newly hired interviewers watched several online videos and completed quizzes through Westat’s LMS, which generated regular reports allowing home office and field management staff to monitor the completion of each trainee’s home study. Only minor revisions were made to this home study curriculum for 2017. These changes included a new Checklist for Home Study Completion to help trainees track their completion of each task, a new Tying It All Together module to assess learning transfer, revised content about the sample design, and updates to several job aids to reflect changes in project software and login procedures. New hires received their home study package between January 12 and January 23, 2017. The shipment schedule was timed to allow trainees adequate time to complete the package before the in-person training, but not so early that their introduction to important study concepts and project terminology would degrade before the in-person training.

The in-person training component maintained the emphasis on interviewer behaviors and interviewing techniques that facilitate complete and accurate reporting. In all mocks and mini-mocks, trainers were instructed to reinforce good interviewing behaviors (e.g., reading questions verbatim, training respondents to use records to aid recall, actively engaging respondents in the use of show cards, and using active listening and probing skills) by calling attention to instances in which interviewers demonstrated such behaviors. To enhance trainee awareness of behaviors that affect data quality, dyad scripts included instructions to take a “time- out” at certain items in the interview to highlight relevant data quality issues.

The in-person training closely followed the agenda implemented in Spring 2016 with a few modifications. Several modules were revised to reflect changes in the Interview Management System (IMS) associated with the implementation of BFOS6. The administration of some exercises was enhanced by completing the first question or two as a group to clarify instructions prior to independent practice by each trainee or small groups of trainees. A few modules were revised to reduce redundancy, creating time for the addition of a two new modules. On day 1, a new module reinforced important MEPS concepts introduced in the pre-classroom home study, such as the types of Reporting Units (RUs), definitions for the Reference Person and Respondent, the MEPS study design, Key versus Non-Key RU members, and the MEPS event types. On day 7, a new Tying It All Together module featured an interactive review focused on the materials presented on the first six days of the training.

The last ½ day of training utilized an approach first used in 2016 that included a breakout session where new hires met with their regional field supervisor and/or field manager to review expectations and plan for organizing their materials when they got home with the goal of being able to quickly begin contacting their cases. These modules focused on addressing the logistics of managing case assignments, efficiently working cases, and reviewing case materials in preparation for each interview.

With the continued use of the Cancer Self-Administered Questionnaire (CSAQ) in Panel 21 Round 3 and Panel 22 Round 1, dyada were adjusted to ensure that trainees got exposure to family members who were prompted to complete the questionnaire.

For the 7 1/2 days of project-specific training, each trainee was assigned to one of six training communities staffed by a primary and support trainer, as well as two or more classroom runners. In addition to lectures on study procedures and questionnaire content, trainees completed mock interviews and dyad role plays using the Round 1, Round 3, and Round 5 questionnaires. The mocks and dyads included training on the use of electronic case materials and completion of the electronic Interviewer Assignment Sheet (IAS). Multiple ‘mini-mock’ interviews—interviews with data pre-entered to allow trainees to directly access the specific section to be addressed in a given session—allowed for in-depth sessions on the more complex sections of the CAPI questionnaire such as household reenumeration and utilization and charge payment without necessitating the completion of a full mock interview or dyad practice. Trainees received instruction and practice in use of the Interviewer Management System (IMS) and ways of introducing the survey and answering respondent questions. To ensure training participants had access to additional coaching and practice, four one-hour structured evening practice labs were scheduled from 6:30-7:30 PM on days 2, 3, 5, and 6 of training. The last of these four labs focused on refusal conversion and aversion techniques. Two additional evening help labs were held from 5:45 PM to 6:30 PM on days 1 and 4 of training to assist trainees with accessing their electronic timesheet to allow for the real time reporting of time and expenses that is now a corporate requirement by Westat. Eighty-seven of the 93 new hires successfully completed training.

In 2017, bilingual trainees who had been certified by Westat for their proficiency in Spanish were trained alongside other new interviewers from their home region as done in prior years. However, for several of the dyads administered during main training, bilingual new hires were paired with other bilingual trainees so that they could conduct these practice interviews in Spanish. An additional half day of bilingual training was held following the conclusion of regular project training. This session focused on procedures and techniques that are of particular importance to interviewing Spanish-speaking households including practicing refusal aversion/conversion techniques in Spanish. A total of 15 interviewers successfully completed 2017 bilingual training.

The post-classroom home study was administered in two parts. New interviewers left in-person training with the first component of the home study. It contained practice on searching the provider directory, an exercise on secure messaging (BSM), and an LMS video on ethics. Additional content added for 2017 included tips for improving data quality from experienced interviewers, as well as instruction and exercises on locating techniques and working with proxy respondents. The locating content was incorporated into the in-person training prior to 2016 and was included in the second parts of the post-classroom home study for 2016 and 2017. New interviewers were required to complete this training before beginning their field work. The second component of the post-classroom home study was sent to new interviewers in mid-March. It focused on less common interviewing situations including case management of related RU members who are identified as being institutionalized and handling NHIS students. Several interactive modules on repeat co-pays and tools and techniques applied to the data quality continuum were administered through Westat’s Learning Management System (LMS). A quiz with immediate feedback functionality was also administered through the LMS. Interviewers were instructed to complete this second home study component by the end of March. Daily reports generated by the LMS allowed home office training staff, field managers, and field supervisors to monitor interviewer progress.

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3.2.2 Experienced Interviewer Training – Distance Learning Program

The 2017 experienced interviewer home study for the Spring panels and rounds followed the format of prior years. The self-paced home study addressed procedural and questionnaire updates discussed in Chapter 2. The home study also included information about the new sample and associated changes to the field management structure as well as information about administering the Cancer SAQ. Other topics included enhancements to the IMS for sorting cases and tracking completed cases shipped to Westat’s home office. Finally, the home study addressed interviewer production expectations and reviewed key aspects of the data quality initiative launched in 2013. The home study package was sent to all experienced field staff in December 2016 with completion required by the January 10, 2017, the start date for Panel 20 Round 5.

The home study for the Fall rounds of data collection in 2017 also followed established formats. The two-hour self-paced program contained an instructional memo, example materials, and quiz. Data quality topics included the importance of collection and follow up procedures related to all self-administered questionnaires and strategies for efficiently working cases. Interviewers attending the 2017 in-person training were also required to complete a mock interview with their supervisor, field manager, or designated senior interviewer before beginning the fall rounds of data collection.

Another aspect of the continuing education program for late 2016 and early 2017 built on the education model developed in 2015 to freshen the data quality skills of experienced interviewers. This model re-tooled several of the videos and other content administered during the January 2014 in-person training for all experienced interviewers. The 2016-2017 program targeted the group of new interviewers who attended the in-person training for new hires in January 2016. The 48 hires still active at the end of December 2016 completed on-line data quality training modules administered through Westat’s LMS and participated in one of several follow up discussions over WebEx during January 2017. The sessions reviewed key concepts related to data quality, watched video clips highlighting examples of issues affecting data quality, and participated in group discussions moderated by field management staff.

Additional Distance Learning Opportunities for Experienced Field Staff In preparation for the rollout of the modernized CAPI instrument for spring 2018 data collection, a number of ad hoc trainings were provided to field staff. During the fall of 2017, experienced field interviewers, as well as their supervisors and field managers, viewed a brief promotional video to build excitement about upcoming changes to the CAPI instrument, and then completed two home study programs in November and December 2017. The home study modules introduced major enhancements to the CAPI instrument, described the benefits of these changes to MEPS staff and study participants, demonstrated new administration techniques, and provided hands-on practice administering select portions of the MEPS instrument. Field interviewers were also required to complete two entire practice interviews shortly before attending the in-person training in early January 2018.

Home Office/Field Manager/Supervisor Train-the-Trainer Workshop. Home office field operations and design staff conducted a four-day, in-person workshop at the Westat home office from December 5-8, 2017. This workshop was attended by a subset of MEPS home office staff, field directors, field managers, field supervisors, and field interviewers who would serve as trainers or in training support roles at the spring 2018 in-person trainings for new and experienced interviewers. The purpose of the workshop was to prepare staff for their training roles by increasing their familiarity with the upgraded CAPI instrument and new training materials. Home office staff presented a selection of the training modules developed for the spring 2018 interviewer trainings and obtained feedback on the draft materials. These modules focused on administration of portions of the CAPI instrument with the most significant changes from the historical CAPI WVS instrument. In addition, the attending staff engaged in individual, hands-on practice using the updated CAPI instrument while home office staff were available to answer their questions.

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4. Data Collection

This chapter describes the MEPS-HC data collection operations and provides selected results for the five rounds of MEPS-HC interviewing conducted in 2017. Selected comparisons to results of prior years are also presented. Tables showing results for all years of the study are provided in Appendix A.

4.1 Data Collection Procedures

MEPS data collection management relies on a set of interrelated systems and procedures designed to accomplish three goals, including efficiency, data quality, and cost containment. The systems include a the Basic Field Operating System (BFOS) which facilitates case management through case assignment, case status and hours reporting, data quality reporting, and interviewer efficiency. Related systems include the Computer Assisted Recorded Interview (CARI) system and the MEPS supervisor dashboard which was in development in 2017. The CARI system CARI code allows for review of recordings for selected interview items to assist in the assessment of interviewer performance and question assessment. The MEPS supervisor dashboard provides views into daily and weekly management tasks related to the tracking of hours per complete, key alerts from casework in the field, the management of weekly production goals, and a number of metrics designed to facilitate weekly field calls with interviewers regarding hours worked, production, and interview quality. These tools, along with the implementation of models designed to identify cases with a higher propensity for completion, and on-hold procedures designed to prevent the overwork of cases in the field, form a comprehensive framework for the management of MEPS data collection.

In most respects, the procedures followed in the 2017 data collection mirrored those of prior years. including the administration of a Cancer SAQ administered to Round 1 and Round 3 households. As with other hard copy instruments fielded in previous years, this Cancer SAQ required adjustments to trigger the interviewer’s request for the SAQ in appropriate households and to record the results of the request, and, where needed, of followup efforts. A new version of the BFOS system was developed and implemented in 2017 to modernize the software and allow for future updates and expansion. The new BFOS system maintained the core functionality of the previous management system but also included a number of improvements to report content and formatting and displays for supervisors and interviewers. These updates allowed for better integration of the Computer Assisted Recorded Interview (CARI) system and the supervisor dashboard into the management toolkit.

Other aspects of the data collection protocols remained largely unchanged in 2017. As in prior years, respondent contact materials provided respondents with the link to the MEPS website (www.meps.ahrq.gov), a toll-free number to Alex Scott at Westat, and the link to the Westat website (www.westat.com). Calls received from the Alex Scott line were logged into the call tracking system and the appropriate super visor notified so that he/she could take the proper course of action.

The advance contact calls to Panel 22 Round 1 households were made by a subset of the experienced MEPS interviewers.

For Round 1 households, interviewers were instructed, with few exceptions, to make initial contact with the household in person. For later rounds, interviewers were allowed to make initial contacts to set appointments by telephone, so long as the household had been cooperative in prior rounds.

Procedures for collecting the medical and pharmacy authorization forms for the Medical Provider Component and self-administered questionnaires remained as in recent prior panels.

MEPS field managers, field directors, and the task leader for field operations continued to manage the field data collection in collaboration with the field supervisors, reinforcing the importance of balancing data quality with production and cost goals across regions. Field staff refer to this collaborative effort as the “No Region Left Behind” approach.

Throughout the year Westat continued to review data for all respondents reported to have been institutionalized in order to identify any individuals who might have been inappropriately classified and, as a result, treated as out of scope for MEPS data collection.

Data Collection Schedule. The sequence for beginning the Spring rounds of data collection, most recently adjusted in 2014, was maintained for 2017. Data collection began with Round 5, followed by Round 3, and then by Round 1. Because the reference period for Round 5 ends December 31—before the Round 5 field period actually begins—the earlier start for Round 5 was intended to ‘front-load’ as much of the work as possible and to reduce the recall period for health care events to be reported in the final Round 5 interview. For the Round 1 respondents, the later starting date allowed several additional weeks of elapsed time in which respondents could experience health care events to report in their Round 1 interview, with these additional events giving them a more realistic understanding of what to expect in the subsequent rounds of the study.

The field period dates for the five rounds of data collection conducted in 2017 are shown in Table 4-1.

Table 4-1. Data collection schedule and number of weeks per round of data collection, 2017

Round Dates No. of weeks in round
1 January 24 – July 14 24
2 July 28 – December 7 19
3 January 17 – June 15 21
4 July 5 – November 30 21
5 January 10 – May 15 18

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Data Quality Initiative. The ongoing MEPS data quality initiative, begun during 2013, continued through 2017 with ongoing revisions to the field monitoring procedures to enhance the feedback provided to the interviewers. The initiative included periodic reinforcement of key training points relating to data quality and supervisor training and reinforcement of the data quality reports to better enable supervisors to monitor interviewer performance on key quality indicators.

Data Quality (DQ) Monitoring. The MEPS data quality field monitoring system and procedures allowed supervisors and field managers to identify interviewers whose work deviated from quality standards and who might need additional coaching on methods for getting respondents to more completely report their health care events. While focusing on the occurrence of multiple indicators, the reports allowed the supervisor to identify patterns of interviewer behavior such as shorter than expected interviews, interviews in which records were consistently not used, and low CARI consent rates. CARI review was further integrated into weekly monitoring activities with supervisors listening to portions of over 1,000 interviews per field period. These reviews were used to reinforce positive interviewing behaviors and techniques, and listening to CARI has given field supervisors direct exposure to interviewing behaviors that need to be addressed. In some cases, CARI recording results were such that interviewers were instructed to stop working until they could receive some re-training, including administering a practice interview to their field supervisor. Many of the current monitoring reports were put in place following a refresher training designed to improve data quality. The reports allowed targeted remote retraining to maintain the data quality gain experienced. The tools have proven effective at assisting the training staff to slow the erosion of these skills despite the need for additional remote and in-person training experiences to maintain high quality data in the future.

The reports were produced weekly during the Spring and Fall data collection periods and used the productivity thresholds established in 2014. Interviewers who had completed 5 or more Round 1 cases since their last report cases and interviewers who had completed 10 or more Round 2-5 cases since their last report were listed on the weekly summary. Patterns in behavior over time were documented and systematically discussed with interviewers as part of a retraining effort.

Case On-hold for Work Plan Procedures. The project implemented a model designed to detect cases at risk for overwork or in need of review to determine the viability of a case compared to other pending cases. At risk cases are automatically placed in an on-hold status for supervisor and field manager review. Only cases with a supervisor drafted and field manager approved work plan tailored to achieve a successful interview are removed from the on-hold status and assigned back to an interviewer for additional targeted completion attempts. At various points in the round, cases with an on-hold status are reassessed in the context of remaining pending cases to determine if any should be released to the field for further work. This practice is designed to produce completes with fewer attempts and more efficient use of resources for refusal conversion and locating activities. Poor quality attempts are avoided and field effort is reduced. The reintroduction of cases with a proper work plan is designed to allow for a high rate of response by tailoring work for cases before they are overworked or removed from the field as non-viable.

Case Potential Listing. The project refined a model detaining a completed interview from a given case (“propensity to complete”) relative to other pending cases in a region. Timing for implementation of the model during the field period was adjusted to better fit operational schedules by panel and round. The model continued to prove useful for identifying cases with higher potential and enabling supervisors to direct interviewer effort during a field period toward these cases and away from cases not likely to result in completion. The model is designed to identify cases with a high likelihood of completion at that point in the field period relative to other pending cases. The model is dynamic and is updated weekly based on the specific conditions for pending cases at that time.

Information from this model is integrated into BFOS (the system used for case management), providing propensity to complete as part of a comprehensive view of a case for a given week. Supervisors were to instruct interviewers—in the absence of other field information that would dictate otherwise—to attempt these cases during the next production week. Results in Table 4-2 illustrate the relative success of the model for identifying cases likely to result in completion or an appointment during the next week of the field period. The results indicate a higher average rate of completion and appointments for cases designated as high potential as compared to other pending cases being worked by the field.

Table 4-2. Average completion and success rates for high potential and remainder (non-high potential) cases during high potential phase, spring 2017

High potential Remainder
Complete Successful Complete Successful
13.2% 28.2% 10.9% 22.7%

* Note: Success = completion or appointment during the following week.

Institutional Population Case Review. Home office staff continued to review cases in which one or more RU members were reported as entering an institution. Weekly reports were generated to identify the specific RU members in multi-person households who had been coded as institutionalized. The home office team reviews the living arrangements reported for all these persons and researches each reported institution to assess its status as a provider of long-term care and thus of the eligibility of the persons in the institution for MEPS data collection. Based on the review, feedback is provided to the field management staff and cases incorrectly coded as institutionalized are re-fielded for an interview. During 2017, 101 cases were reviewed; of these, 8 (8.0 percent) were determined to have been coded incorrectly and required refielding.

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4.2 Data Collection Results: Interviewing

Table 4-3 provides an overview of the data collection results for Panels 14 through 22, showing sample sizes, average interviewer hours per completed interview, and response rates. Table 4-4 shows the final response rates a second time, reformatted to facilitate by-round comparisons across panels and years.

Of the data collection rounds conducted in 2017, the response rates for Rounds 2 showed a slight increase over the rates for the corresponding round of 2016 and Round 4 was on par with 2016. However, response rates for Rounds 1 and 3 showed decreases from 2016, with Round 1 exhibiting a 1.8 percent decrease from the high-water mark year of 2016, 0.9 percent lower than the more typical rate of Round 1 in 2015. An estimated 30 percent of the 1.8 percent decrease in Round 1 is attributable to a shift in the distribution of cases in the domains due to the changes in NHIS sample composition in Panel 22. The lack of minority oversample reduced the proportion of households with a higher probability to respond as compared to the previous long-standing sample design.

Table 4-3. MEPS HC data collection results, panels 14 through 22

Panel/round Original sample Split cases (movers) Student cases Out-of-scope cases Net sample Completes Average interviewer hours/complete Response rate (%) Response rate goal
Panel 14 Round 1 9,899 394 74 140 10,227 7,650 12.3 74.8 80.0
Round 2 7,669 212 29 27 7,883 7,239 8.3 91.8 95.0
Round 3 7,226 144 23 34 7,359 6,980 7.3 94.9 96.0
Round 4 6,974 112 23 30 7,079 6,853 7.7 96.8 97.0
Round 5 6,845 55 9 30 6,879 6,761 6.2 98.3 98.0
Panel 15 Round 1 8,968 374 73 157 9,258 6,802 13.2 73.5 80.0
Round 2 6,811 171 19 21 6,980 6,435 8.9 92.2 95.0
Round 3 6,431 134 23 22 6,566 6,261 7.2 95.4 96.0
Round 4 6,254 116 15 26 6,359 6,165 7.8 97.0 97.0
Round 5 6,156 50 5 19 6,192 6,078 6.0 98.2 98.0
Panel 16* Round 1 10,417 504 98 555 10,940 8,553 11.4 78.2 80.0
Round 2 8,561 252 42 34 8,821 8,351 7.6 94.7 95.0
Round 3 8,351 232 19 28 8,574 8,256 6.4 96.1 96.0
Round 4 8,232 155 16 13 8,390 8,162 6.6 97.3 97.0
Round 5 8,143 67 13 25 8,198 7,998 5.5 97.6 98.0
Panel 17 Round 1 9,931 490 92 127 10,386 8,121 11.7 78.2 80.0
Round 2 8,113 230 35 19 8,359 7,874 7.9 94.2 95.0
Round 3 7,869 180 15 15 8,049 7,663 6.3 95.2 96.0
Round 4 7,656 199 19 30 7,844 7,494 7.4 95.5 97.0
Round 5 7,485 87 10 23 7,559 7,445 6.1 98.5 98.0
Panel 18 Round 1 9,950 435 83 111 10,357 7,683 12.3 74.2 80.0
Round 2 7,691 264 32 16 7,971 7,402 9.2 92.9 95.0
Round 3 7,402 235 21 22 7,635 7,213 7.6 94.5 96.0
Round 4 7,203 189 14 22 7,384 7,172 7.5 97.1 97.0
Round 5 7,163 94 12 15 7,254 7,138 6.2 98.4 98.0
Panel 19 Round 1 9,970 492 70 115 10,417 7,475 13.5 71.8 80.0
Round 2 7,460 222 23 24 7,681 7,188 8.4 93.6 95.0
Round 3 7,168 187 12 17 7,350 6,962 7.0 94.7 96.0
Round 4 6,946 146 20 23 7,089 6,858 7.4 96.7 97.0
Round 5 6,856 75 7 24 6,914 6,794 5.9 98.3 98.0
Panel 20 Round 1 10,854 496 85 117 11,318 8,318 12.5 73.5 80.0
Round 2 8,301 243 39 22 8,561 7,998 8.3 93.4 95.0
Round 3 7,987 173 17 26 8,151 7,753 6.8 95.1 96.0
Round 4 7,729 161 19 31 7,878 7,622 7.2 96.8 97.0
Round 5 7,611 99 13 23 7,700 7,421 6.0 96.4 98.0
Panel 21 Round 1 9,851 462 92 89 10,316 7,674 12.6 74.4 80.0
Round 2 7,661 207 32 17 7,883 7,327 8.5 93.0 95.0
Round 3 7,327 166 14 19 7,488 7,043 7.2 94.1 96.0
Round 4 7,025 119 14 20 7,138 6,907 7.0 96.8 97.0
Round 5                  
Panel 22 Round 1 9,835 352 68 86 10,169 7,381 12.8 72.6 80.0
Round 2 7,371 166 19 11 7,545 7,039 8.5 93.3 95.0

* Figures in the table are weighted to reflect results of the interim nonresponse subsampling procedure implemented in the first round of Panel 16.

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Table 4-4. Response rates by data collection year, 2010-2017

Year
Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5
2010
Panel 15 73.5 92.2      
Panel 14     94.9 96.8  
Panel 13         97.9
2011
Panel 16 78.2 94.8      
Panel 15     95.4 97.0  
Panel 14         98.3
2012
Panel 17 78.2 94.2      
Panel 16     96.1 97.3  
Panel 15         98.2
2013
Panel 18 74.2 92.9      
Panel 17     95.2 95.5  
Panel 16         97.6
2014
Panel 19 71.8 93.6      
Panel 18     94.5 97.1  
Panel 17         98.5
2015
Panel 20 73.5 93.4      
Panel 19     94.7 96.7  
Panel 18         98.4
2016
Panel 21 74.4 93.0      
Panel 20     95.1 96.8  
Panel 19         98.3
2017
Panel 22 72.6 93.3      
Panel 21     94.1 96.8  
Panel 20         96.4

Hours per completed interview in 2017 showed relatively little change from 2016. Hours per complete increased by 0.4 hours for Round 3 but remained within +/- .2 hours for other rounds. An examination of Spring and Fall 2017 hours per complete combining all active rounds provides a similar description. In Spring 2017, the average hours per complete across all rounds was 8.5 while this figure was 8.2 hours per complete in 2016. The increase in Round 3 drove this difference. Average hours per complete in the Fall were identical in 2017 and 2016 at 7.8 hours.

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Components of Response and Nonresponse

Table 4-5 summarizes components of nonresponse associated with the Round 1 households by panel beginning in 2012. As the table shows, the components of nonresponse other than refusals—the ‘not located’ and ‘other’—have remained relatively stable over the last five years. The combined total for the ‘not located’ and the ‘other nonresponse’ has ranged only between 5.8 and 5.4 percent. The larger year to year changes are reflected in the percentage of refusals, where increases and decreases in the percentage of refusals align closely with corresponding decreases and increases in the completion rate: for 2017, the 1.8 percentage point increase in the response rate pairs aligns with the 1.6 percentage point increase in the refusal rate.

Table 4-5. Summary of MEPS round 1 response and nonresponse, 2012-2017 panels

Year/Panel
2012
P17R1
2013
P18R1
2014
P19R1
2015
P20R1
2016
P21R1
2017
P22R1
Total Sample 10,513 10,468 10,532 11,435 10,405 10,255
Out of scope (%) 1.2 1.1 1.1 1.0 0.9 0.8
Complete (%) 78.2 74.2 71.8 73.5 74.4 72.6
Nonresponse (%) 21.8 25.8 28.2 26.5 25.6 27.4
Refusal (%) 17.1 20.1 22.4 21.0 20.2 21.8
Not located (%) 3.7 4.3 4.2 4.3 3.7 3.9
Other nonresponse (%) 1.0 1.4 1.6 1.2 1.7 1.7

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Tables 4-6 through 4-13 summarize results for additional aspects of the 2017 data collection. Because Round 1 is the most difficult of the 5 rounds, the presentation focuses primarily on Panel 22, Round 1.

Table 4-6. Summary of MEPS round 1 response, 2012-2017 panels, by NHIS completion status

Year
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Original NHIS sample (N) 9,931 9,951 9,970 10,854 9,851 9,835
Percent complete in NHIS 80.9 78.1 81.9 80.6 77.6 81.0
Percent partial complete in NHIS 19.1 21.9 18.1 19.4 22.4 19.0
MEPS Round 1 response rate
Percent complete for NHIS completes 80.7 76.9 74.5 75.9 77.3 75.4
Percent complete for NHIS partial completes 68.2 64.5 58.9 63.1 64.8 62.0

Note: Figures shown are based on original NHIS sample and exclude reporting units added to the sample as “splits” and “students”.

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NHIS Completion Status

Each year the MEPS sample includes a number of households classified in the NHIS as ‘partial completes’, in which the interviewer was able to complete part, but not all, of the full NHIS interview. The MEPS experience has been that for many of these NHIS cases, the difficulty experienced by the NHIS interviewer carries over to the MEPS interview: the MEPS response rate for the NHIS partial completes is substantially lower than for the NHIS completes. As noted in Chapter 1, for the 2017 sample, AHRQ repeated the step taken since 2012 of sampling the NHIS partial completes in the ‘White/other’ category at a lower rate than the NHIS completes.

The upper portion of Table 4-6 shows the proportion of partial completes in the sample over recent years. Across all domains, the proportion of the 2017 sample classified as partial complete was lower than in 2016 but on par with 2015 (19. 0 percent vs 22.4 percent in 2016 and 19.4 percent in 2015). The lower portion of the table shows the persistent and substantial difference in response rate between these two components of the sample. Among the cases originally delivered from the NHIS (that is, with new reporting units discovered during the MEPS interviewing excluded from the counts), the response rate for the NHIS partial completes has been at least 12 percentage points less than that for the NHIS completes; in 2017, the difference was 13.4. The decrease in the 2016 Round 1 response rate compared to 2015 was reflected in the response rates for both the NHIS completes and partial completes (1.9 percentage points and 2.8 percentage points, respectively).

Sample Domain

Table 4-7 breaks out response information for the NHIS completes and partial completes by sample domain categories. Table 4-7, unlike Table 4-6, does include reporting units added to the sample during Round 1 data collection; it shows the differential in response rates between the NHIS partial completes and full completes persisting across all of the domains. The difference across the full 2017 sample was 13.4 percentage points, with NHIS partial completes responding at a lower rate in all domains. Within the individual domains the difference between the response rate for the NHIS completes and the NHIS partials was greatest for the White/Other domain – 18.7 percentage points. The differences were smaller for the other domains: 8.6 percentage points for the Asian domain, 13.2 for the Black domain, and 10.8 for the Hispanic domain. Across all 4 domains, refusal rates ranged from a low of 13.7 percent for the Black domain to 29.0 percent among the Asian domain. Within the subdomains, refusals ranged from a low of 11.3 percent for the completes in the Black domain to a high of 38.8 percent for the partial completes in the White/Other domain.

Table 4-7. Summary of MEPS panel 22 round 1 response rates, by sample domain by NHIS completion status

By domain Net sample (N) Complete (%) Refusal (%) Not located (%) Other nonresponse (%)
Asian 704 63.8 29.0 3.7 3.6
NHIS complete 543 65.7 27.8 3.5 2.9
NHIS partial complete 161 57.1 32.9 4.3 5.6
Black 1,504 79.1 13.7 5.6 1.7
NHIS complete 1,110 82.5 11.3 4.9 1.2
NHIS partial complete 394 69.3 20.6 7.6 2.5
Hispanic 1,972 76.7 16.2 5.4 1.6
NHIS complete 1,449 79.6 14.3 4.9 1.2
NHIS partial complete 523 68.8 18.9 6.9 2.9
White/other 5,989 70.6 24.8 3.1 1.5
NHIS complete 5,098 73.4 22.3 2.8 1.4
NHIS partial complete 891 54.7 38.8 4.5 2.0
All groups 10,169 72.6 21.8 3.9 1.7
NHIS complete 8,200 75.2 19.8 3.5 1.5
NHIS partial complete 1,969 61.5 30.1 5.7 2.6

Note: Includes reporting units added to sample as “splits” and “students” from original NHIS households, which were given the same ‘complete’ or ‘partial complete’ designation as the original household.

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Refusals and Refusal Conversion

Table 4-8 summarizes the results of refusal conversion efforts by panel. The rate of ‘ever refused’ for RUs in Panel 22 was one percentage point more than in 2016, equaling that of 2014 and 2015, while the rate of refusal conversion decreased for 2017 by 1.4 percent. The increase in overall response rate between the two years resulted in part from the larger percentage of ‘ever refused’ households in 2017.

Table 4-8. Summary of MEPS round 1 results for RUs who ever refused, panels 15-22

Panel Net sample
(N)
Ever refused
(%)
Converted
(%)
Final refusal rate
(%)
Final response rate
(%)
Panel 15 9,258 29.4 26.6 21.0 73.5
Panel 16 10,940 26.3 30.9 17.6 78.2
Panel 17 10,386 25.3 30.2 17.2 78.2
Panel 18 10,357 25.5 25.0 18.1 74.2
Panel 19 10,418 30.1 23.3 22.4 71.8
Panel 20 11,318 30.1 29.2 21.0 73.5
Panel 21 10,316 29.1 29.0 20.2 74.4
Panel 22 10,169 30.1 27.6 21.8 72.6

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Tracing and Locating

Table 4-9 shows results of locating efforts for households that required tracking during the Round 1 field period by panel. The percent of households that required some tracing in 2017 (13.0 percent) was similar to that of 2016; the final rate of households that were not located after tracing efforts was also similar to 2016 (3.9 percent compared to 3.7 percent). The 2017 ‘not located’ rate was less than 2013-2015, but within the range of 3.0-4.3 percent for the 8-year period shown in the table.

Table 4-9. Summary of MEPS round 1 results for RUs who were ever traced, panels 15-22

Panel Total sample
(N)
Ever traced
(%)
Not located
(%)
Panel 15 9,415 16.7 4.1
Panel 16 11,019 18.2 3.0
Panel 17 10,513 18.7 3.6
Panel 18 10,468 16.0 4.3
Panel 19 10,532 19.5 4.1
Panel 20 11,435 14.0 4.3
Panel 21 10,405 12.8 3.7
Panel 22 10,228 13.0 3.9

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Interview Length

Table 4-10 shows the mean length (in minutes) for interviews conducted without interruption in a single session in Panels 15 – 22. Timings for all of the rounds of data collection conducted in 2017 show an increase from the prior year, with the increases being somewhat larger in Rounds 1 and 3 than in Rounds 2, 4, and 5.

Table 4-10. Interview timing comparison, panels 15 through 22 (mean minutes per interview, single-session interviews)

Panel
Panel 15 Panel 16 Panel 17 Panel 18 Panel 19 Panel 20 Panel 21 Panel 22
Round 1 74.7 74.0 67.8 78.0 85.5 76.4 75.5 79.9
Round 2 87.2 88.1 90.2 102.9 92.3 86.3 85.3 88.8
Round 3 86.4 87.2 94.3 103.1 94.5 89.7 93.4  
Round 4 80.2 85.9 99.6 89.0 84.6 80.5 82.7  
Round 5 77.6 85.4 92.2 87.4 84.1 85.3    

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Mean Contact Attempts Per Case

Table 4-11 shows mean contact attempts, by mode and NHIS completion status, for all cases in Round 1 of Panels 20 - 22. Overall, the number of contacts required per case in Panel 22 showed moderate declines from 2016, an overall decrease of .5 attempts per complete that is reflected in varying degrees for both in-person and telephone contacts and among both the NHIS completes and partial completes. This decrease is chiefly attributed to the newly instituted on-hold process for cases at risk of overwork. As in prior years, in Panel 22 the NHIS partial complete cases required substantially greater effort than the NHIS completes, roughly 1.5 additional in-person contacts per household.

Table 4-11. Mean contact attempts by NHIS completion status, round 1 of panels 20-22

Contact type Panel 20, Round 1 Panel 21, Round 1 Panel 22, Round 1
All RUs Complete Partial All RUs Complete Partial All RUs Complete Partial
N 10,854 8,751 2,103 9,851 7,645 2,206 9,835 7,963 1,872
% of all RUs 100 81 19 100 77.6 22.4 100 81 19
In-person 7.2 6.9 8.5 7.0 6.9 8.3 6.3 6.1 7.3
Telephone 2.1 2.0 2.5 2.0 1.9 2.4 1.5 1.5 1.7
Total 9.6 9.2 11.4 9.3 8.9 11.0 8.4 8.1 9.6

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4.3 Data Collection Results: Authorization Form Signing Rates

During the Closing section of the MEPS CAPI interview, interviewers are prompted to ask respondents to sign the authorization forms needed to conduct the Medical Provider Component of MEPS. Authorization forms are requested for each unique person-provider pairing identified during the interviews as a source of care to a key member of the household. Medical provider authorization forms are requested for physicians seen in an office-based setting, for inpatient, outpatient, or emergency room care received in a hospital, for care received from a home health agency, and for certain stays in long-term care institutions. Pharmacy authorization forms are requested for each pharmacy from which a household member obtained prescription medicines.

Table 4-12 shows round by round signing rates for the medical provider authorization forms for Panels 15 through 22. Authorization form signing rates for the rounds conducted in 2017 showed mixed results compared to the previous years:

  • Up slightly from the three previous panels, the Round 1 signing rate is 69.2 percent.

  • The Round 2 signing rate for Panel 22 continued to increase over the Panel 21 rate, from 75.2 percent to 76.5 percent.

  • The Round 3 signing rate, bounced back this year from a decrease to 69.4 percent in Panel 20 to 71.6 percent in Panel 21.

  • The Round 4 signing rate increased again this year, from 76.9 percent to 79.5 percent.

  • The signing rate for Panel 20 Round 5 (74.4 percent) declined slightly from the level of the preceding year(74.5) and lower than rates from 2014 -2015.

Calculation of the round by round collection rate for the medical provider authorization forms is based on all forms requested during a round. The rates calculated for Rounds 2-5 include forms fielded but not signed in an earlier round (nonresponse) as well as forms that were fielded in an earlier round and signed, but rendered obsolete because the person had another health event with the provider after the date on which the original form was signed.

Table 4-12. Signing rates for medical provider authorization forms for panels 15 through 22

Panel/round Authorization forms requested Authorization forms signed Signing rate (%)
Panel 15 Round 1 1,680 1,136 67.6
Round 2 18,506 13,628 73.6
Round 3 16,686 11,652 69.8
Round 4 16,260 11,139 68.5
Round 5 13,443 8,420 62.6
Panel 16 Round 1 1,811 1,223 67.5
Round 2 23,718 17,566 74.1
Round 3 21,780 14,828 68.1
Round 4 21,537 16,329 75.8
Round 5 16,688 12,028 72.1
Panel 17 Round 1 1,655 1,117 67.5
Round 2 21,749 17,694 81.4
Round 3 19,292 15,125 78.4
Round 4 20,086 15,691 78.1
Round 5 15,064 11,873 78.8
Panel 18 Round 1 1,677 1,266 75.5
Round 2 22,714 18,043 79.4
Round 3 20,728 15,827 76.4
Round 4 17,092 13,704 80.2
Round 5 15,448 11,796 76.4
Panel 19 Round 1 2,189 1,480 67.6
Round 2 22,671 17,190 75.8
Round 3 20,582 14,534 70.6
Round 4 17,102 13,254 77.5
Round 5 15,330 11,425 74.5
Panel 20 Round 1 2,354 1,603 68.1
Round 2 25,334 18,479 72.9
Round 3 22,851 15,862 69.4
Round 4 18,234 14,026 76.9
Round 5 16,274 12,100 74.4
Panel 21 Round 1 2,037 1,396 68.5
Round 2 22,984 17,295 75.2
Round 3 20,802 14,898 71.6
Round 4 16,487 13,110 79.5
Panel 22 Round 1 2,274 1,573 69.2
Round 2 22,913 17,530 76.5

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Table 4-13 shows signing rates for pharmacy authorization forms for Panels 15 through 22. In early MEPS panels, pharmacy authorization forms were collected only in Rounds 3 and 5. Beginning in 2009, the project began requesting pharmacy authorization forms in Rounds 2 through 5, with follow up for nonresponse in subsequent rounds similar to that for medical provider authorization forms. The signing rates for the pharmacy authorization forms have generally shown a pattern of decline since Panel 19; however, all rounds in 2017 show an increase in the signing rate with rounds 2-4 exhibiting an increase in excess of one percent.

Table 4-13. Signing rates for pharmacy authorization forms for panels 15 through 22

Panel/round Authorization forms requested Authorization forms signed Signing rate (%)
Panel 15 Round 2 9,698 7,092 73.1
Round 3 8,684 6,189 71.3
Round 4 8,163 5,756 70.5
Round 5 7,302 4,485 66.9
Panel 16 Round 2 12,093 8,892 73.5
Round 3 10,959 7,591 69.3
Round 4 10,432 8,194 78.6
Round 5 8,990 6,928 77.1
Panel 17 Round 2 14,181 12,567 88.6
Round 3 9,715 7,580 78.0
Round 4 9,759 7,730 79.2
Round 5 8,245 6,604 80.1
Panel 18 Round 2 10,977 8,755 79.8
Round 3 9,757 7,573 77.6
Round 4 8,526 6,858 80.4
Round 5 7,918 6,173 78.0
Panel 19 Round 2 10,749 8,261 76.9
Round 3 9,618 6,902 71.8
Round 4 8,557 6,579 76.9
Round 5 7,767 5,905 76.0
Panel 20 Round 2 12,074 8,796 72.9
Round 3 10,577 7,432 70.3
Round 4 9,099 6,945 76.3
Round 5 8,312 6,339 76.3
Panel 21 Round 2 10,783 7,985 74.1
Round 3 9,540 6,847 71.8
Round 4 8,172 6,387 78.2
Panel 22 Round 2 10,510 7,919 75.4

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4.4 Data Collection Results: Self-Administered Questionnaire (SAQ), Diabetes Care Supplement (DCS), and Cancer Self-Administered Questionnaire (CSAQ) Collection Rates

Self-Administered Questionnaires (SAQ) are requested from adult household members in Rounds 2 and 4. Forms that are not collected in Rounds 2 and 4 are requested again in Rounds 3 and 5. Table 4-14 shows both the round-specific response rates and the combined rates after the follow up round is completed. Prior to Panel 18, persons completing the SAQ received $5.00; the gift was discontinued with Panel 18. In the years shown prior to Panel 18, the collection rate for the SAQ, after follow up, had remained relatively steady at about 92-95 percent. In the three cycles of SAQ collection completed since the $5.00 gift was discontinued, the response rate after followup has ranged from 86.2 percent (Panel 21, Rounds 2-3) to 89.9 percent (Panel 18, Rounds 2-3).The initial round of SAQ data collection for Panel 22 (Round 2) also showed a increase of 3 percent in response compared to prior panels; followup for this SAQ was still active in early 2018.

Table 4-14. Results of Self-Administered Questionnaire (SAQ) collection for panels 15 through 22

Panel/round SAQs requested SAQs completed SAQs refused Other nonresponse Response rate (%)
Panel 15 Round 2 11,857 10,121 637 1,096 85.4
Round 3 1,491 725 425 341 48.6
Combined, 2010 11,857 10,846 1,062 1,437 91.5
Round 4 11,311 9,804 572 935 86.7
Round 5 1,418 678 461 279 47.8
Combined, 2011 11,311 10,482 1,033 1,214 92.6
Panel 16 Round 2 15,026 12,926 707 1393 86.0
Round 3 1,863 949 465 449 50.9
Combined, 2011 15,026 13,875 1,172 728 92.3
Round 4 13,620 12,415 582 623 91.2
Round 5 1,112 516 442 154 46.4
Combined, 2012 13,620 12,931 1,024 777 94.9
Panel 17 Round 2 14,181 12,567 677 937 88.6
Round 3 1,395 690 417 288 49.5
Combined, 2012 14,181 13,257 1,094 1,225 93.5
Round 4 13,086 11,566 602 918 88.4
Round 5 1,429 655 504 270 45.8
Combined, 2013 13,086 12,221 1,106 1,188 93.4
Panel 18 Round 2 13,158 10,805 785 1,568 82.1
Round 3 2,066 1,022 547 497 48.5
Combined, 2013 13,158 11,827 1,332 2,065 89.9
Round 4 12,243 10,050 916 1,277 82.1
Round 5 2,063 936 721 406 45.4
Combined, 2014 12,243 10,986 1,637 1,683 89.7
Panel 19 Round 2 12,664 10,047 1,014 1,603 79.3
Round 3 2,306 1,050 694 615 44.5
Combined, 2014 12,664 11,097 1,708 2,218 87.6
Round 4 11,782 9,542 1,047 1,175 81.0
Round 5 2,131 894 822 414 42.0
Combined, 2015 11,782 10,436 1,869 1,589 88.6
Panel 20 Round 2 14,077 10,885 1,223 1,966 77.3
Round 3 2,899 1,329 921 649 45.8
Combined, 2015 14,077 12,214 2,144 2,615 86.8
Round 4 13,068 10,572 1,127 1,371 80.9
Round 5 2,262 1,001 891 370 44.3
Combined, 2016 13,068 11,573 2,018 1,741 88.6
Panel 21 Round 2 13,143 10,212 1,170 1,761 77.7
Round 3 2,585 1,123 893 569 43.4
Combined, 2016 13,143 11,335 2,063 2,330 86.2
Panel 22 Round 2 12,304 9,929 1,086 1,289 80.7

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In Rounds 3 and 5, adult household members who are reported as having been diagnosed with diabetes are asked to complete a short self-administered questionnaire, the Diabetes Care Supplement (DCS). Forms not completed for pickup at the time of the interviewer’s visit are followed up by telephone in the latter stages of Rounds 3 and 5, but unlike the SAQ, there is no follow up in the subsequent round for forms not collected in the round when first requested. Response rates for the Diabetes Care Supplement (DCS) for Panels 14 through 21 are shown in Table 4-15. Completion rates for the DCS have declined over the years shown in the table, ending below 83 percent for the first time in Panel 21, Round 3.

Table 4-15. Results of Diabetes Care Supplement (DCS) collection for panels 14 through 21

Table 4-15. Results of Diabetes Care Supplement (DCS) collection for panels 14 through 21

Panel/round DCSs requested DCSs completed Response rate (%)
Panel 14 Round 3 1,174 1,048 89.3
Round 5 1,177 1,066 90.6
Panel 15 Round 3 1,117 1,000 89.5
Round 5 1,097 990 90.3
Panel 16 Round 3 1,425 1,283 90.0
Round 5 1,358 1,256 92.5
Panel 17 Round 3 1,315 1,177 89.5
Round 5 1,308 1,174 89.8
Panel 18 Round 3 1,362 1,182 86.8
Round 5 1,342 1,187 88.5
Panel 19 Round 3 1,272 1,124 88.4
Round 5 1,316 1,144 87.2
Panel 20 Round 3 1,412 1,190 84.5
Round 5 1,3862 1,174 84.9
Panel 21 Round 3 1,422 1,170 82.5

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Table 4-16 shows collection rates for the Cancer Self-Administered Questionnaire (CSAQ), which was first collected in 2016 and again in 2017 (in Panel 22, Round 1 and Panel 21, Round 3). Key RU members age 18 and older who reported in the MEPS interview that they had cancer were requested to complete a short questionnaire asking about their experiences with cancer. The response rate for the targeted respondents in Panel 22 Round 1 was 82.4 percent (almost three percent higher than in Panel 21 Round 1); for those in Panel 21, Round 3 households, the rate of 77.8 percent was down compared to 83.4 percent in Panel 20, Round 3. The higher cooperation rate in Round 3 is most likely due to the higher cooperation that MEPS receives from households who have participated in earlier rounds of the survey.

Table 4-16. Cancer Self-Administered Questionnaire (CSAQ) collection rates

Panel/round C-SAQs requested C-SAQs completed Response rate (%)
Panel 20 Round 3 935 780 83.4
Panel 21 Round 1 891 709 79.6
Panel 21 Round 3 171 133 77.8
Panel 22 Round 1 1,060 873 82.4

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4.5 Data Collection Results: Patient Profile Collection

The pharmacy component of the Medical Provider Component collects information about MEPS participants’ prescription medicine usage as captured on the summary ‘patient profile’ form generated by pharmacies. The patient profile lists the prescriptions filled or refilled for the patient during the year. Continuing the procedure started several years ago, the project sends a mailed request to household respondents who have reported using certain pharmacies, asking them to contact those pharmacies to request a copy of their patient profile. The procedure serves as a backup effort to obtain information from pharmacies that do not participate when contacted by representatives from the Medical Provider Component. In 2017, the collection of profiles by the MEPS household component operation was limited to respondents in Panel 20, Round 5 households. These respondents had completed their full cycle household interviews, and no follow up efforts were made for those who did not respond to the mailed request.

For the 2017 effort, summarized in Table 4-17, patient profile requests were sent to 2,723 patient-pharmacy pairs in 1,953 reporting units. Completed profiles were received for 12.0 percent of the pairs, a rate lower than that of the previous year, but comparable to that of the two years prior shown in the table. Despite the overall low rate of return, the effort does allow the study to include some prescription profile data for patients associated with pharmacies whose data would otherwise be totally unrepresented in the MEPS pharmacy estimates.

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Table 4-17. Results of patient profile collection in 2012 through 2017

Pharmacy Total number Total received Percent received Total complete Completes as a percent of total
2017 – P19R5 all mail collection
Total RUs 1,953 342 17.5% 254 13.0%
Total Pairs 2,723 372 13.7% 326 12.0%
2016 – P19R5 all mail collection
Total RUs 2,038 374 18.4% 285 14.0%
Total Pairs 2,854 430 15.1% 394 13.8%
2015 – P18R5 all mail collection
Total RUs 1,404 260 18.5% 186 13.2%
Total Pairs 2,042 289 14.2% 255 12.5%
2014 – P17R5 all mail collection
Total RUs 2,230 372 16.7% 269 12.1%
Total Pairs 3,233 443 13.7% 386 11.9%
2013 – P16R5 all mail collection
Total RUs 2,014 417 20.7% 316 15.6%
Total Pairs 2,911 486 16.6% 425 14.5%
2012 – P15R5 all mail collection
Total RUs 1,390 290 20.8% 203 14.6%
Total Pairs 1,990 348 17.4% 290 14.5%

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4.6 Quality Control

As in past years, validation interviews were completed with a portion of the participating MEPS households. The validation interviews were conducted primarily by telephone by the MEPS team of seven validation interviewers. The purpose of validation is to verify that the correct individual was contacted for the interview and that the interview was conducted according to MEPS-approved procedures.

At least 10 percent of the interviews completed by each interviewer on each panel/round are validated during the data collection period. In addition, for interviewers who travel and complete interviews outside of their home regions, an additional 10 percent of the interviews they complete for a given region are validated. Finally, all interviews completed in less than 30 minutes are validated.

Approximately 22.8 percent of the MEPS households who participated during Spring data collection and 23.7 percent of those who participated during the Fall period completed a validation interview. This is about 5 percent less for Spring and Fall data collection than 2016. In addition MEPS field supervisors and managers observed 77 interviews during the year as part of a comprehensive mentoring process. Generally, MEPS is developing and using technical solutions in place of in-person observations; however, there are specific needs met by specialized observation. This total included observation of all 65 of the interviewers who were newly hired at the start of the year and still active at the time of their observation. As much as possible, observations are conducted in the early weeks of data collection so that problems can be detected and corrected as quickly as possible and interviewers given feedback on ways to improve specific interviewing skills. While CARI offers a high-quality portal for evaluating interviewers on question administration, observations, particularly of newly hired staff, allow for assessment of the full range of interviewer skills including respondent contact, trip planning, gaining cooperation, and interviewer-respondent interactions that cannot be captured through CARI and other report mechanisms. In addition, the observer serves as an on-site resource in situations where remedial training is necessary. Observation forms are processed and reviewed at the home office to determine the need for individual and field-wide follow-up on specific skills.

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4.7 Security Incidents

To comply with the requirement of reporting incidents involving loss or theft of hard-copy materials with respondent PII or laptops, field staff continued to use an automated loss reporting system to report incidents. As before, reported incidents were subsequently tracked through the use of a documentation log which was provided to AHRQ whenever an entry or update to an incident occurred. A security incident report was also filed for each confirmed incident with the Westat IRB.

A total of 11 incidents of lost or stolen laptops or hardcopy material were reported in 2017. Two MEPS laptops were reported lost or stolen; however, both were recovered. In both reported laptop thefts/losses the password-protected laptops were shut down at the time of the loss. Since MEPS laptops are full disc encrypted, respondent identity was not at risk.

Nine reports included suspected or confirmed loss of hard copy materials with respondent PII or breach of confidentiality. In three of these incidents the documents were recovered without compromise of PII. Authorization forms with PII and respondent signatures, reported lost in six incidents, were not recovered. The respondents in these households were notified of the loss and asked to re-sign the forms; all but two respondents agreed to re-sign forms. The HHS Privacy Incident Response Team (PIRT) was notified of all incidents involving the loss/compromise of PII.

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5. Home Office Support of Field Activities

The home office supports the data collection effort in several important ways. One phase of activity supports the launch of each new round of data collection; another phase supports the field operation while data collection is in progress. These two phases of activity are described in this chapter.

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5.1 Preparation for Field Activities

As each wave of cases became available for fielding, clerical staff created RU folders containing the hard-copy materials associated with each case. Materials included authorization forms, follow-up SAQs, and mini labels to be affixed to new documents generated during data collection. At the same time the cases became available, supervisors received a Supervisor Assignment Log listing all of the cases to be released in their region for that wave. For the first wave of each round, supervisors used this log to assign cases to their interviewers. They entered the ID of the interviewer to be assigned each case and sent the log back to the home office. Home office staff then shipped the case folders directly to the interviewers. A file with the assignments was also sent to programming staff to make the electronic assignments in the field management system, Basic Field Operating System (BFOS).

For later waves, the prepared RU folders were sent to the field supervisors who made the electronic assignments in their Supervisor Management System (SMS) and shipped the hard-copy materials to their interviewers.

Prior to the start of data collection for each period, interviewers connected remotely to the home office to download the CAPI software update for the upcoming rounds and received a home study training package to prepare them for interviewing. Field interviewers also received a replenishment of supplies at the start of the rounds.

Advance mailings to all respondent households were prepared and mailed by the home office staff. Addresses were first standardized and sent through the National Change of Address (NCOA) database to obtain the most current addresses for mailing. Any mail returned as undeliverable was recorded and then forwarded to the appropriate supervisor. Requests to re-mail the Round 1 advance package to households who reported not receiving it were prepared and mailed by home office staff.

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5.2 Support During Data Collection

Respondent Contacts. Respondent contacts are an important component of home office support for the MEPS data collection effort. Printed materials mailed to respondents contain an email address and toll-free telephone number that respondents can use to contact the project with questions, with requests to make or to cancel interview appointments, or to decline participation in the study. Home office staff receive and initiate the response to all respondent contacts. They forward information received from respondent calls to the field supervisors, who initiate the appropriate follow up and inform the home office of the results of their follow up within 24 hours of notification. Table 5-1 shows the number and percent of RUs who made calls to the respondent hotline in the Spring and Fall rounds of 2014 – 2017.

Table 5-1. Number and percent of respondents who called the respondent information line, 2014-2017

Calls made
Original sample size Number of calls Calls as a percent of sample size
Round 1
2014 – Panel 19 Round 1 9,970 340 3.4%
2015 – Panel 20 Round 1 10,854 436 4.0%
2016 – Panel 21 Round 1 9,851 301 3.1%
2017 – Panel 22 Round 1 9,835 346 3.5%
Rounds 3/5
2014 – Panel 17 Round 5/Panel 18 Round 3 14,887 639 4.3%
2015 – Panel 18 Round 5/Panel 19 Round 3 14,331 691 4.8%
2016 – Panel 19 Round 5/Panel 20 Round 3 14,844 547 3.7%
2017 – Panel 20 Round 5/Panel 21 Round 3 14,939 533 3.6%
Rounds 2/4
2014 – Panel 18 Round 4/Panel 19 Round 2 14,667 737 5.0%
2015 – Panel 19 Round 4/Panel 20 Round 2 15,249 570 3.7%
2016 – Panel 20 Round 4/Panel 21 Round 2 15,392 605 3.9%
2017 – Panel 21 Round 4/Panel 22 Round 2 14,395 518 3.6%

Table 5-2 shows the number and types of calls received on the respondent hotline during 2016 and 2017. As in prior years, a substantial portion of the Round 1 calls were from refusals, with a much smaller proportion of refusals and a higher proportion of appointment requests in the later rounds.

Table 5-2. Calls to the respondent information line, 2016 and 2017

Reason for call Spring 2016(Panel 21 Round 1, Panel 20 Round 3, Panel 19 Round 5) Fall 2016(Panel 21 Round 2, Panel 20 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 8 2.7 64 11.7 48 7.9
Appointment 93 30.9 362 66.2 373 61.7
Request callback 47 15.6 59 10.8 83 13.7
No message 1 0.3 7 1.3 6 1.0
Other 2 0.7 1 0.2 3 0.5
Proxy Needed 0 0.0 5 0.9 6 1.0
Request SAQ help 0 0.0 3 0.5 11 1.8
SAQ refusal 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Special needs 1 0.3 0 0.0 0 0.0
Refusal 139 46.2 46 8.4 75 12.4
Willing to participate 10 3.3 0 0.0 0 0.0
Total 301   547   605  


Reason for call Spring 2017(Panel 22 Round 1, Panel 21 Round 3, Panel 20 Round 5) Fall 2017(Panel 22 Round 2, Panel 21 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 10 2.9 51 9.6 35 6.8
Appointment 86 24.9 355 66.6 318 61.4
Request callback 59 17.1 90 16.9 64 12.4
No message 1 0.3 2 0.4 5 1.0
Other 2 0.6 3 0.6 4 0.8
Proxy Needed 1 0.3 7 1.3 5 1.0
Request SAQ help 1 0.3 0 0.0 15 2.9
SAQ refusal 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Special needs 0 0.0 1 0.2 1 0.2
Refusal 172 49.7 23 4.3 70 13.5
Willing to participate 14 4.0 1 0.2 1 0.2
Total 346   533   518  

Monitoring Production. Home office staff monitored production, cost, and data quality and provided reports and feedback to field managers and supervisors for review and follow up. Each week they generated and distributed reports to AHRQ showing weekly and cumulative figures on field production, response rate, and costs.

Home Office Support. Validation abstracts, which contain information from the interview to be used during interview validation calls, were generated electronically and sent via BFOS Secure Messaging (BSM) to the validators. Refusal letters were generated and mailed by home office staff as requested by the field. Home office staff also responded to supply requests from the field, replenishing interviewer and supervisor stocks of materials as needed.

Receipt Control. As interviewers completed cases, they transmitted the data electronically and shipped the case folders containing any hard-copy documents to the home office receipt operation. All material containing personally identifiable information (PII) was shipped via Federal Express which facilitates tracking of late or lost shipments. Details of each FedEx shipment, including the FedEx tracking number and RUIDs of cases contained in the package were entered by the sender in a FedEx notification module in the field management system (BFOS) which generated a BSM message to alert the recipient of the expected package. Contents of the cases received at the home office were reviewed and recorded in the receipt system. Authorization forms were edited for completeness and scanned into an image database. When a problem was found in an authorization form, the problem was documented and feedback was sent to the field supervisor to review with the interviewer. All self-administered questionnaires, including SAQs, DCSs and Cancer SAQs were receipted and sent for TeleForm scanning. The receipt department also tracked the hardcopy receipts against dates interviews had been reported as completed and transmitted; they alerted the field whenever the materials for a completed interview did not arrive within 10 days of the interview date.

Helpdesk Support. The MEPS CAPI Helpdesk again provided technical support for field interviewing activities during 2017. Helpdesk staff were available 7 days a week to help field staff resolve CAPI, Field Management System, transmission, and laptop problems. Incoming calls are documented for follow up as needed to resolve individual issues and to identify issues reported by multiple interviewers. The CAPI Helpdesk serves as the coordinating point for tracking and shipping all field laptops, monitoring field laptop assignment, and coordinating laptop repair.

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6. Data Processing and Data Delivery

This chapter briefly describes the activities that supported Westat’s data delivery work during the year and identifies the principal files delivered in 2017.

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6.1 Data Delivery

The primary objective of MEPS is to produce a series of data files for public release each calendar year. The interround processing, editing, and variable construction tasks all serve to prepare these public use files. Each file addresses one or more aspects of the U.S. civilian non-institutional population’s access to, use of, and payments for health care.

Public Use File Deliveries

The principal files delivered during calendar year 2017 are listed below.

  • The 2016 Point in Time File;

  • Full Year 2015 Use and Insurance File;

  • Full Year 2015 Use and Expenditure File;

  • Full Year 2015 Expenditure Event Files for events included in the Medical Provider Component data collection including hospital inpatient, outpatient, and emergency room events, office-based physician visits, and home health agency events;

  • Full Year 2015 Expenditure Event files for events not included in the Medical Provider Component data collection, including dental events, office-based non-physician events, and other medical expenses;

  • Full Year 2015 Prescribed Medicines Expenditure File;

  • Full Year 2015 Medical Conditions File;

  • Full Year 2015 Jobs File;

  • Full Year 2015 Appendix to MEPS Event Files;

  • 2015 Person Round Plan File.
Ancillary File Deliveries

In addition to the principal data files delivered for public release each year, the project also produces a number of ancillary files for delivery to AHRQ. These include an extensive series of person and family-level weights, “raw” data files reflecting MEPS data at intermediate stages of capture and editing, and files generated at the end of each round or as needed to support analysis of both substantive and methodological topics. A comprehensive list of the files delivered during 2017 appears in the appendix A.

Medical Provider Component (MPC) Files

During each year’s processing cycle, Westat also creates files for the MPC contractor and, in turn, receives data files back from the MPC. As in prior years, Westat provided sample files for the MPC in three waves, with the first two waves delivered while HC data collection was still in progress. In preparing the sample files delivered in 2016 for MPC collection of data about 2015 health events, Westat again applied the program developed in 2014 for unduplicating the sample of providers. This process, developed in consultation with AHRQ, was designed to reduce the number of duplicate providers reported from the household data collection.

Early in 2017, following completion of MPC data collection and processing for 2015 events, Westat received the files containing data collected in the MPC with linkages to matching events collected in the MPC with events collected in the HC. In processing at Westat, matched events from the MPC served as the primary source for imputing expenditure variables for the 2015 events. A similar file of prescribed medicines was also delivered to support matching and imputation of expenditures for the prescribed medicines at AHRQ. Timely and well-coordinated data handoffs between Westat and the MPC are critical to the timely delivery of the full year expenditure files. With each additional year of interaction and cooperation, the handoffs between the MPC and HC have gone more and more smoothly.

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6.2 Processing to Support Data Delivery

Schedules for Data Delivery

Adhering to the schedule for delivery of the key MEPS public use files is of paramount importance to the project. Throughout 2017, data processing activities to support the major file deliveries for the year proceeded simultaneously along several different delivery paths, with activity focused separately on each of the panels for the annual Point-in-Time and Full-Year Files. As in past years, the project used a set of comprehensive data delivery schedules to guide management of the effort. The schedules integrate key dates for the data collection, data capture, coding, editing and imputation, weights construction, and documentation production tasks. These schedules provide a framework for assessing the potential impact of proposed changes at the start of each processing cycle and for coordinating the succession of processes that comprise the delivery effort.

At several points in recent years AHRQ has accelerated the schedule for delivery of the annual files in order to make MEPS data more quickly available to users. Given the interconnections among the many processes involved in preparing the files, acceleration requires coordination not only among the analytic groups who prepare the files, but also with schedules for Household data collection and for file transfers with the Medical Provider Component. The MEPS contract called for an acceleration of one month for files to be delivered in 2017 (for data year 2015). The project began planning to meet that requirement during 2014, increased these efforts in 2015, and tested the new schedule for files delivered in 2016. Table 6-1 shows the pattern of acceleration for the file deliveries for data years 2013-2015. The dates shown reflect the end point of file preparation – delivery for web release.

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Table 6-1. Delivery schedule for major MEPS files, 2015-2017

Year
2015 (FY 13) 2016 (FY 14) 2017 (FY 15)
Point in Time File 5/15/15 4/15/16 4/15/17
Full Year Use File 2/13/15 2/12/16 2/10/17
Non-MPC Event Files 6/12/15 6/10/16 5/12/17
MPC Event Files 7/10/15 7/14/16 6/9/17
Prescribed Medicine File 8/14/15 8/12/16 7/14/17
Full Year Expenditure File 9/11/15 9/9/16 8/11/17

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Support Activities

A number of discrete activities, described briefly below, contribute to the delivery effort.

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TeleForm/Data Editing of Scanned Forms

TeleForm, a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software system for intelligent data capture and image processing, was used in 2016 to capture data collected in the Diabetes Care Supplement (DCS), the Self-Administered Questionnaire (SAQ), and the Cancer Self-Administered Questionnaire (CSAQ). TeleForm software reads the form image files and extracts data according to the project specifications. Supporting software checks the data for conformity with project specifications and flags data values that violate the validation rules for review and resolution. The edits and the flags settings used with TeleForm replicate those embedded in the Computer Assisted Data Entry (CADE) programs used in prior years for the DCS and SAQ so that the TeleForm data have the same edits and flags as in previous years.

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Coding

Coding refers to the process of converting data items collected in text format to pre-specified numeric codes. The plan for the 2017 coding effort (for items collected during data year 2016) was described in Deliverables 17.506, .507, and .508 ). For the MEPS-HC, 5 types of information require coding including:

  • Medical conditions;

  • Prescribed medicines;

  • Source of Payment for medical events and prescriptions;

  • Industry/Occupation; and

  • Geographic identifiers.

Condition and Prescribed Medicine Coding

In 2017, coding was performed on the conditions and prescribed medicine text strings reported by household respondents for calendar year 2016. An automated system enabled coders to easily search for and assign the appropriate ICD-10-CM code (for conditions) or GPI code (for medicines). The system supports the verifier’s review of all codes and, as needed, correction of the coder’s initial decision. For the prescribed medicine coding, a pharmacist provided a further review of text strings questioned by the verifier, uncodeable text strings, foreign medicines, and compound drugs. All coding actions were tracked in the system and error rates calculated weekly. Both the condition and prescribed medicine coding efforts were staffed by 3 coders.

The 2017 coding cycle was the first year, medical conditions were coded using ICD-10-CM codes. Westat and AHRQ began planning for this transition in 2015 with decisions for implementation of the transition finalized in August 2016. Given the limited specificity of condition information reported by household respondents and the greatly increased specificity required for coding to ICD-10, the decision was made to limit coding to the first three bytes of the fully detailed seven byte ICD-10 codes. Westat used the General Equivalence Mappings (GEM), a crosswalk developed by CMS, for associating ICD-9-CM codes with their ICD-10 equivalent, for converting the existing history from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Additionally, the history table was truncated to include only the five most recent years of data. Due to the projected increase in coding workload, the schedule for the 2017 coding cycle was revised so that condition coding for DY2016 began early in March, approximately six weeks earlier than prior years.

For data year 2016, a total of 21,517 text strings were manually coded for health conditions, representing an increase of 8,563 strings when compared to the previous year. This total was the net after two stages of file unduplication. In the first stage of unduplication, a program was run to identify exact duplicate text strings among the 120,461 condition strings reported by household respondents; the program identified 29,173 unique strings. In the second stage the unique strings were compared to the history table consisting of strings coded in the past 5 years (2011-2015) that had successfully been converted to ICD-10-CM codes using the GEM crosswalk.. Where strings in this comparison matched, the ICD-10 code assigned previously was assigned to the new text string; this step reduced the workload to the 21,517 strings actually coded in 2017. However, this represented a 60 percent increase in the workload for manual coding.

In addition to the fact that this was the first year coding to ICD-10-CM, household reported descriptions of medical conditions are frequently incomplete or ambiguous and historically difficult to code with precision. The individual coders’ error rates in 2017 (3 percent on average) was comparable to the previous year although remaining above the contract target of 2 percent. To ensure the quality of coding, all of the coding work was reviewed by a highly experienced and credentialed verifier whose error rate is below the contract target. One-on-one training was conducted with individual coders as needed.

Prescription medicine text strings were coded to the set of Generic Product Identifier (GPI) codes, associated with the Master Drug Data Base (MDDB) maintained by Medi-Span, a part of Wolters Kluwer. The codes characterize medicines by therapeutic class, form, and dosage. To augment the assignment of codes to less specified and ambiguous text strings, ARHQ developed procedures for assigning partial GPI codes and higher level drug categories that were implemented in 2017 for coding 2016 data. AHRQ also developed a set of exact and inexact matching programs to reduce the number of prescribed medicine strings sent for manual coding. Westat’s implementation of these matching programs reduced the number of prescribed medicine text strings sent for manual coding significantly; 10,352 strings were coded from 2016 data compared to the 24,634 strings coded previously from 2015 data. Like the condition text strings, the prescription medicine text strings undergo two rounds of unduplication to identify the unique strings to be coded. AHRQ’s exact and inexact matching programs are then run to further reduce the number of strings to be coded. The initial total of 213,256 strings was reduced to 56,239 in the first stage of unduplication and to the 29,173 strings in the second stage with AHRQ’s matching programs further reducing the number of strings to 10,352. The overall coding error rate (across all three coders) was 3 percent, 1 percent higher than the contractual goal of 2 percent. As with the conditions, all prescription text strings/codes were reviewed by a verifier, with additional review of selected strings provided by a pharmacist.

Source of Payment Coding

Source of payment information (SOP) is collected in both the household and the medical provider components. In the HC charge payment section of the CAPI instrument, the names of the sources of payment are collected in three places: When the bill was paid by a source identified in response to a direct question about payment (REIMNAM), when the bill was sent to a source other than the respondent and the respondent names that source (WHOBILL#), and in response to a question about a direct payment source for prescription medicines(SRCNAME). The responses are coded to one of the ten source of payment options in which health care expenditures are reported in the MEPS public use files. These payment sources include:

  • Out of pocket;

  • Medicare;

  • Medicaid;

  • Private Health Insurance;

  • Veterans Administration, including CHAMPVA;

  • Tricare or CHAMPUS;

  • Other federal;

  • Other state and local;

  • Workers’ Compensation; and

  • Other.

The SOP Coding Guidelines Manual, with the schema from the Coding Plan, is updated each year before the start of the annual coding cycle, submitted for AHRQ approval, and distributed to the coders. Since the Medical Provider Component of MEPS uses the same set of source of payment codes as the Household Component, coding rules and decisions are coordinated with the MPC contractor to ensure consistency in the coding.

Each year, the source of payment text strings extracted from the reference year data are matched to a historical file of previously coded SOP text strings to create a file of matched strings with suggested or “matched” codes. These match-coded strings are reviewed by coders and verified or modified as needed. This review is required because insurance companies change their product lines and coverage offerings very frequently, and as a result, the source of payment code for a given text string (e.g., the name of an insurance company or plan) can change from year to year. For example, from one year to the next an insurer or insurance product may participate in or drop out of state exchanges; may offer Part D or dental or vision insurance or may drop it; may add Medicare Advantage plans in addition to Medicaid HMOs; or may gain or lose state contracts as Medicaid service providers. As a result of these changes, the appropriate code for a company or specific plan may also change from year to year. Strings that do not match to a string in the history table are researched and have an appropriate SOP code assigned by coding staff.

SOP coding during 2017 was for the payment sources reported for 2016 events. For the bill was paid by a source identified in response to a direct question about payment (REIMNAM), a total of 2,987 previously coded source of payment text strings were reviewed and updated as needed. After unduplication of the strings reported for 2016, coders reviewed and coded 1,277 strings. For the bill was sent to a source other than the respondent and the respondent names that source (WHOBILL#,) coders reviewed and coded 2,290 strings. For text strings reported as direct payers for prescription medicine (SRCNAME), 460 previously coded strings were reviewed and updated as needed. And 318 new text strings were reviewed and coded by coders.

Industry and Occupation Coding

Industry and Occupation coding is performed for MEPS by the Census Bureau using the Census Bureau’s Demographic Surveys Division’s (DSD) Computer-Assisted Industry and Occupation (I&O) codes, which can be cross-walked to the 2007 North American Industrial Classification (NAIC) coding system, and 2010 Standard Occupational Classifications (SOC). The codes characterize the jobs reported by household respondents and are released annually on the FY JOBS file. During 2017, 18,133 jobs were coded for the 2016 JOBS file.

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GEO Coding

The Westat Geographic Information Systems (GIS) division GEO codes household addresses, assigning the latitude and longitude coordinates, as well as other variables such as County and State Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) codes, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) status, Designated Market Area, Census Place, and county. RU-level data are expanded to the person level and delivered to AHRQ as part of the set of ‘Master Files’ sent yearly. These data are not included in a PUF, but some variables are used for the FY weights processing.

During the FY2016 coding cycle, 18,659 unique address records for full year reporting units were processed, as well as 7,277 records for point-in-time households.

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Appendix A
Comprehensive Tables – Household Survey

Table A-1. Data collection periods and starting RU-level sample sizes, all panels

Spring/Fall Data Collection Sample Size
January-June 1996 10,799
Panel 1 Round 1 10,799
July-December 1996 9,485
Panel 1 Round 2 9,485
January-June 1997 15,689
Panel 1 Round 3 9,228
Panel 2 Round 1 6,461
July-December 1997 14,657
Panel 1 Round 4 9,019
Panel 2 Round 2 5,638
January-June 1998 19,269
Panel 1 Round 5 8,477
Panel 2 Round 3 5,382
Panel 3 Round 1 5,410
July-December 1998 9,871
Panel 2 Round 4 5,290
Panel 3 Round 2 4,581
January-June 1999 17,612
Panel 2 Round 5 5,127
Panel 3 Round 3 5,382
Panel 4 Round 1 7,103
July-December 1999 10,161
Panel 3 Round 4 4,243
Panel 4 Round 2 5,918
January-June 2000 15,447
Panel 3 Round 5 4,183
Panel 4 Round 3 5,731
Panel 5 Round 1 5,533
July-December 2000 10,222
Panel 4 Round 4 5,567
Panel 5 Round 2 4,655
January-June 2001 21,069
Panel 4 Round 5 5,547
Panel 5 Round 3 4,496
Panel 6 Round 1 11,026
July-December 2001 13,777
Panel 5 Round 4 4,426
Panel 6 Round 2 9,351
January-June 2002 21,915
Panel 5 Round 5 4,393
Panel 6 Round 3 9,183
Panel 7 Round 1 8,339
July-December 2002 15,968
Panel 6 Round 4 8,977
Panel 7 Round 2 6,991
January-June 2003 24,315
Panel 6 Round 5 8,830
Panel 7 Round 3 6,779
Panel 8 Round 1 8,706
July-December 2003 13,814
Panel 7, Round 4 6,655
Panel 8, Round 2 7,159
January-June 2004 22,552
Panel 7 Round 5 6,578
Panel 8 Round 3 7,035
Panel 9 Round 1 8,939
July-December 2004 14,068
Panel 8, Round 4 6,878
Panel 9, Round 2 7,190
January-June 2005 22,548
Panel 8 Round 5 6,795
Panel 9 Round 3 7,005
Panel 10 Round 1 8,748
July-December 2005 13,991
Panel 9, Round 4 6,843
Panel 10, Round 2 7,148
January-June 2006 23,278
Panel 9 Round 5 6,703
Panel 10 Round 3 6,921
Panel 11 Round 1 9,654
July-December 2006 14,280
Panel 10 Round 4 6,708
Panel 11 Round 2 7,572
January-June 2007 21,326
Panel 10 Round 5 6,596
Panel 11 Round 3 7,263
Panel 12 Round 1 7,467
July-December 2007 12,906
Panel 11 Round 4 7,005
Panel 12 Round 2 5,901
January-June 2008 22,414
Panel 11 Round 5 6,895
Panel 12 Round 3 5,580
Panel 13 Round 1 9,939
July-December 2008 13,384
Panel 12 Round 4 5,376
Panel 13 Round 2 8,008
January-June 2009 22,960
Panel 12 Round 5 5,261
Panel 13 Round 3 7,800
Panel 14 Round 1 9,899
July-December 2009 15,339
Panel 13 Round 4 7,670
Panel 14 Round 2 7,669
January-June 2010 23,770
Panel 13 Round 5 7,576
Panel 14 Round 3 7,226
Panel 15 Round 1 8,968
July-December 2010 13,785
Panel 14 Round 4 6,974
Panel 15 Round 2 6,811
January-June 2011 23,693
Panel 14 Round 5 6,845
Panel 15 Round 3 6,431
Panel 16 Round 1 10,417
July-December 2011 14,802
Panel 15 Round 4 6,254
Panel 16 Round 2 8,548
January-June 2012 24,247
Panel 15 Round 5 6,156
Panel 16 Round 3 8,160
Panel 17 Round 1 9,931
July-December 2012 16,161
Panel 16 Round 4 8,048
Panel 17 Round 2 8,113
January-June 2013 25,788
Panel 16 Round 5 7,969
Panel 17 Round 3 7,869
Panel 18 Round 1 9,950
July-December 2013 15,347
Panel 17 Round 4 7,656
Panel 18 Round 2 7,691
January-June 2014 24,857
Panel 17 Round 5 7,485
Panel 18 Round 3 7,402
Panel 19 Round 1 9,970
July-December 2014 14,665
Panel 18 Round 4 7,203
Panel 19 Round 2 7,462
January-June 2015 25,185
Panel 18 Round 5 7,163
Panel 19 Round 3 7,168
Panel 20 Round 1 10,854
July-December 2015 15,247
Panel 19 Round 4 6,946
Panel 20 Round 2 8,301
January-June 2016 24,694
Panel 19 Round 5 6,856
Panel 20 Round 3 7,987
Panel 21 Round 1 9,851
July-December 2016 15,390
Panel 20 Round 4 7,729
Panel 21 Round 2 7,661
January-June 2017 25,485
Panel 20 Round 5 7,723
Panel 21 Round 3 7,507
Panel 22 Round 1 10,255
July-December 2017 14,714
Panel 21 Round 4 7,158
Panel 22 Round 2 7,556

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Table A-2. MEPS household survey data collection results, all panels

Panel/round Original sample Split cases (movers) Student cases Out-of-scope cases Net sample Completes Average interviewer hours/ complete Response rate (%)
Panel 1 Round 1 10,799 675 125 165 11,434 9,496 10.4 83.1
Round 2 9,485 310 74 101 9,768 9,239 8.7 94.6
Round 3 9,228 250 28 78 9,428 9,031 8.6 95.8
Round 4 9,019 261 33 89 9,224 8,487 8.5 92.0
Round 5 8,477 80 5 66 8,496 8,369 6.5 98.5
Panel 2 Round 1 6,461 431 71 151 6,812 5,660 12.9 83.1
Round 2 5,638 204 27 54 5,815 5,395 9.1 92.8
Round 3 5,382 166 15 52 5,511 5,296 8.5 96.1
Round 4 5,290 105 27 65 5,357 5,129 8.3 95.7
Round 5 5,127 38 2 56 5,111 5,049 6.7 98.8
Panel 3 Round 1 5,410 349 44 200 5,603 4,599 12.7 82.1
Round 2 4,581 106 25 39 4,673 4,388 8.3 93.9
Round 3 4,382 102 4 42 4,446 4,249 7.3 95.5
Round 4 4,243 86 17 33 4,313 4,184 6.7 97.0
Round 5 4,183 23 1 26 4,181 4,114 5.6 98.4
Panel 4 Round 1 7,103 371 64 134 7,404 5,948 10.9 80.3
Round 2 5,918 197 47 40 6,122 5,737 7.2 93.7
Round 3 5,731 145 10 39 5,847 5,574 6.9 95.3
Round 4 5,567 133 35 39 5,696 5,540 6.8 97.3
Round 5 5,547 52 4 47 5,556 5500 6.0 99.0
Panel 5 Round 1 5,533 258 62 103 5,750 4,670 11.1 81.2
Round 2 4,655 119 27 27 4,774 4,510 7.7 94.5
Round 3 4,496 108 17 24 4,597 4,437 7.2 96.5
Round 4 4,426 117 20 41 4,522 4,396 7.0 97.2
Round 5 4,393 47 12 32 4,420 4,357 5.5 98.6
Panel 6 Round 1 11,026 595 135 200 11,556 9,382 10.8 81.2
Round 2 9,351 316 49 50 9,666 9,222 7.2 95.4
Round 3 9,183 215 23 41 9,380 9,001 6.5 96.0
Round 4 8,977 174 32 66 9,117 8,843 6.6 97.0
Round 5 8,830 94 14 46 8,892 8,781 5.6 98.8
Panel 7 Round 1 8,339 417 76 122 8,710 7,008 10.0 80.5
Round 2 6,991 190 40 24 7,197 6,802 7.2 94.5
Round 3 6,779 169 21 32 6,937 6,673 6.5 96.2
Round 4 6,655 133 17 34 6,771 6,593 7.0 97.4
Round 5 6,578 79 11 39 6629 6529 5.7 98.5
Panel 8 Round 1 8,706 441 73 175 9,045 7,177 10.0 79.3
Round 2 7,159 218 52 36 7,393 7,049 7.2 95.4
Round 3 7,035 150 13 33 7,165 6,892 6.5 96.2
Round 4 6,878 149 27 53 7,001 6,799 7.3 97.1
Round 5 6,795 71 8 41 6,833 6,726 6.0 98.4
Panel 9 Round 1 8,939 417 73 179 9,250 7,205 10.5 77.9
Round 2 7,190 237 40 40 7,427 7,027 7.7 94.6
Round 3 7,005 189 24 31 7,187 6,861 7.1 95.5
Round 4 6,843 142 23 44 6,964 6,716 7.4 96.5
Round 5 6,703 60 8 43 6,728 6,627 6.1 98.5
Panel 10 Round 1 8,748 430 77 169 9,086 7,175 11.0 79.0
Round 2 7,148 219 36 22 7,381 6,940 7.8 94.0
Round 3 6,921 156 10 31 7,056 6,727 6.8 95.3
Round 4 6,708 155 13 34 6,842 6,590 7.3 96.3
Round 5 6,596 55 9 38 6,622 6,461 6.2 97.6
Panel 11 Round 1 9,654 399 81 162 9,972 7,585 11.5 76.1
Round 2 7,572 244 42 24 7,834 7,276 7.8 92.9
Round 3 7,263 170 15 25 7,423 7,007 6.9 94.4
Round 4 7,005 139 14 36 7,122 6,898 7.2 96.9
Round 5 6,895 51 7 44 6,905 6,781 5.5 98.2
Panel 12 Round 1 7,467 331 86 172 7,712 5,901 14.2 76.5
Round 2 5,901 157 27 27 6,058 5,584 9.1 92.2
Round 3 5,580 105 13 12 5,686 5,383 8.1 94.7
Round 4 5,376 102 12 16 5,474 5,267 8.8 96.2
Round 5 5,261 50 8 21 5,298 5,182 6.4 97.8
Panel 13 Round 1 9,939 502 97 213 10,325 8,017 12.2 77.6
Round 2 8,008 220 47 23 8,252 7,809 9.0 94.6
Round 3 7,802 204 14 38 7,982 7,684 7.2 96.2
Round 4 7,670 162 17 40 7,809 7,576 7.5 97.0
Round 5 7,576 70 15 38 7,623 7,461 6.1 97.9
Panel 14 Round 1 9,899 394 74 140 10,227 7,650 12.3 74.8
Round 2 7,669 212 29 27 7,883 7,239 8.3 91.8
Round 3 7,226 144 23 34 7,359 6,980 7.3 94.9
Round 4 6,974 112 23 30 7,079 6,853 7.7 96.8
Round 5 6,845 55 9 30 6,879 6,761 6.2 98.3
Panel 15 Round 1 8,968 374 73 157 9,258 6,802 13.2 73.5
Round 2 6,811 171 19 21 6,980 6,435 8.9 92.2
Round 3 6,431 134 23 22 6,566 6,261 7.2 95.4
Round 4 6,254 116 15 26 6,359 6,165 7.8 97.0
Round 5 6,156 50 5 19 6,192 6,078 6.0 98.2
Panel 16 Round 1 10,417 504 98 555 10,940 8,553 11.4 78.2
Round 2 8,353 248 40 32 8,821 8,351 7.6 94.7
Round 3 8,160 223 19 27 8,375 8,236 6.4 96.1
Round 4 8,048 151 16 13 8,390 8,162 6.6 97.3
Round 5 7,969 66 13 25 8,198 7,998 5.5 97.6
Panel 17 Round 1 9,931 490 92 127 10,386 8,121 11.7 78.2
Round 2 8,113 230 35 19 8,359 7,874 7.9 94.2
Round 3 7,869 180 15 15 8,049 7,663 6.3 95.2
Round 4 7,656 199 19 30 7,844 7,494 7.4 95.5
Round 5 7,485 87 10 23 7,559 7,445 6.1 98.5
Panel 18 Round 1 9,950 435 83 111 10,357 7,683 12.3 74.2
Round 2 7,691 264 32 16 7,971 7,402 9.2 92.9
Round 3 7,402 235 21 22 7,635 7,213 7.6 94.5
Round 4 7,203 189 14 22 7,384 7,172 7.5 97.1
Round 5 7,163 94 12 15 7,254 7,138 6.2 98.4
Panel 19 Round 1 9,970 492 70 115 10,417 7,475 13.5 71.8
Round 2 7,460 222 23 24 7,681 7,188 8.4 93.6
Round 3 7,168 187 12 17 7,350 6,962 7.0 94.7
Round 4 6,946 146 20 23 7,089 6,858 7.4 96.7
Round 5 6,856 75 7 24 6,914 6,794 5.9 98.3
Panel 20 Round 1 10,854 496 85 117 11,318 8,318 12.5 73.5
Round 2 8,301 243 39 22 8,561 7,998 8.3 93.4
Round 3 7,987 173 17 26 8,151 7,753 6.8 95.1
Round 4 7,729 161 19 31 7,878 7,622 7.2 96.8
Round 5 7,611 99 13 23 7,700 7,421 6.0 96.4
Panel 21 Round 1 9,851 462 92 89 10,316 7,674 12.6 74.4
Round 2 7,661 207 32 17 7,883 7,327 8.5 93.0
Round 3 7,327 166 14 19 7,488 7,043 7.2 94.1
Round 4 7,025 119 14 20 7,138 6,907 7.0 96.8
Panel 22 Round 1 9,835 352 68 86 10,169 7,381 12.8 72.7
Round 2 7,371 166 19 11 7,545 7,039 8.5 93.3

* Figures in the table are weighted to reflect results of the interim nonresponse subsampling procedure implemented in the first round of Panel 16.

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Table A-3 Signing rates for medical provider authorization forms

Panel/round Authorization forms requested Authorization forms signed Signing rate (%)
Panel 1 Round 1 3,562 2,624 73.7
Round 2 19,874 14,145 71.2
Round 3 17,722 12,062 68.1
Round 4 17,133 10,542 61.5
Round 5 12,544 6,763 53.9
Panel 2 Round 1 2,735 1,788 65.4
Round 2 13,461 9,433 70.1
Round 3 11,901 7,537 63.3
Round 4 11,164 6,485 58.1
Round 5 8,104 4,244 52.4
Panel 3 Round 1 2,078 1,349 64.9
Round 2 10,335 6,463 62.5
Round 3 8,716 4,797 55.0
Round 4 8,761 4,246 48.5
Round 5 6,913 2,911 42.1
Panel 4 Round 1 2,400 1,607 67.0
Round 2 12,711 8,434 66.4
Round 3 11,078 6,642 60.0
Round 4 11,047 6,888 62.4
Round 5 8,684 5,096 58.7
Panel 5 Round 1 1,243 834 67.1
Round 2 14,008 9,618 68.7
Round 3 12,869 8,301 64.5
Round 4 13,464 9,170 68.1
Round 5 10,888 7,025 64.5
Panel 6 Round 1 2,783 2,012 72.3
Round 2 29,861 22,872 76.6
Round 3 26,068 18,219 69.9
Round 4 27,146 20,082 74.0
Round 5 21,022 14,581 69.4
Panel 7 Round 1 2,298 1,723 75.0
Round 2 22,302 17,557 78.7
Round 3 19,312 13,896 72.0
Round 4 16,934 13,725 81.1
Round 5 14,577 11,099 76.1
Panel 8 Round 1 2,287 1,773 77.5
Round 2 22,533 17,802 79.0
Round 3 19,530 14,064 72.0
Round 4 19,718 14,599 74.0
Round 5 15,856 11,106 70.0
Panel 9 Round 1 2,253 1,681 74.6
Round 2 22,668 17,522 77.3
Round 3 19,601 13,672 69.8
Round 4 20,147 14,527 72.1
Round 5 15,963 10,720 67.2
Panel 10 Round 1 2,068 1,443 69.8
Round 2 22,582 17,090 75.7
Round 3 18,967 13,396 70.6
Round 4 19,087 13,296 69.7
Round 5 15,787 10,476 66.4
Panel 11 Round 1 2,154 1,498 69.5
Round 2 23,957 17,742 74.1
Round 3 20,756 13,400 64.6
Round 4 21,260 14,808 69.7
Round 5 16,793 11,482 68.4
Panel 12 Round 1 1,695 1,066 62.9
Round 2 17,787 12,524 70.4
Round 3 15,291 10,006 65.4
Round 4 15,692 10,717 68.3
Round 5 12,780 8,367 65.5
Panel 13 Round 1 2,217 1,603 72.3
Round 2 24,357 18,566 76.2
Round 3 21,058 14,826 70.4
Round 4 21,673 15,632 72.1
Round 5 17,158 11,779 68.7
Panel 14 Round 1 2,128 1,498 70.4
Round 2 23,138 17,739 76.7
Round 3 19,024 13,673 71.9
Round 4 18,532 12,824 69.2
Round 5 15,444 10,201 66.1
Panel 15 Round 1 1,680 1,136 67.6
Round 2 18,506 13,628 73.6
Round 3 16,686 11,652 69.8
Round 4 16,260 11,139 68.5
Round 5 13,443 8,420 62.6
Panel 16 Round 1 1,811 1,223 67.5
Round 2 23,718 17,566 74.1
Round 3 21,780 14,828 68.1
Round 4 21,537 16,329 75.8
Round 5 16,688 12,028 72.1
Panel 17 Round 1 1,655 1,117 67.5
Round 2 21,749 17,694 81.4
Round 3 19,292 15,125 78.4
Round 4 20,086 15,691 78.1
Round 5 15,064 11,873 78.8
Panel 18 Round 1 1,677 1,266 75.5
Round 2 22,714 18,043 79.4
Round 3 20,728 15,827 76.4
Round 4 17,092 13,704 80.2
Round 5 15,448 11,796 76.4
Panel 19 Round 1 2,189 1,480 67.6
Round 2 22,671 17,190 75.8
Round 3 20,582 14,534 70.6
Round 4 17,102 13,254 77.5
Round 5 15,330 11,425 74.5
Panel 20 Round 1 2,354 1,603 68.1
Round 2 25,334 18,479 72.9
Round 3 22,851 15,862 69.4
Round 4 18,234 14,026 76.9
Round 5 16,274 12,100 74.4
Panel 21 Round 1 2,037 1,396 68.5
Round 2 22,984 17,295 75.2
Round 3 20,802 14,898 71.6
Round 4 16,487 13,110 79.5
Panel 22 Round 1 2,274 1,573 69.2
Round 2 22,913 17,530 76.5

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Table A-4 Signing rates for pharmacy authorization

Panel/round Permission forms requested Permission forms signed Signing rate (%)
Panel 1 Round 3 19,913 14,468 72.7
Round 5 8,685 6,002 69.1
Panel 2 Round 3 12,241 8,694 71.0
Round 5 8,640 6,297 72.9
Panel 3 Round 3 9,016 5,929 65.8
Round 5 7,569 5,200 68.7
Panel 4 Round 3 11,856 8,280 69.8
Round 5 10,688 8,318 77.8
Panel 5 Round 3 9,248 6,852 74.1
Round 5 8,955 7,174 80.1
Panel 6 Round 3 19,305 15,313 79.3
Round 5 17,981 14,864 82.7
Panel 7 Round 3 14,456 11,611 80.3
Round 5 13,428 11,210 83.5
Panel 8 Round 3 14,391 11,533 80.1
Round 5 13,422 11,049 82.3
Panel 9 Round 3 14,334 11,189 78.1
Round 5 13,416 10,893 81.2
Panel 10 Round 3 13,928 10,706 76.9
Round 5 12,869 10,260 79.7
Panel 11 Round 3 14,937 11,328 75.8
Round 5 13,778 11,332 82.3
Panel 12 Round 3 10,840 8,242 76.0
Round 5 9,930 8,015 80.7
Panel 13 Round 3 15,379 12,165 79.1
Round 4 10,782 7,795 72.3
Round 5 9,451 6,635 70.2
Panel 14 Round 2 11,841 9,151 77.3
Round 3 9,686 7,091 73.2
Round 4 9,298 6,623 71.2
Round 5 8,415 6,011 71.4
Panel 15 Round 2 9,698 7,092 73.1
Round 3 8,684 6,189 71.3
Round 4 8,163 5,756 70.5
Round 5 7,302 4,485 66.9
Panel 16 Round 2 12,093 8,892 73.5
Round 3 10,959 7,591 69.3
Round 4 10,432 8,194 78.6
Round 5 8,990 6,928 77.1
Panel 17 Round 2 14,181 12,567 88.6
Round 3 9,715 7,580 78.0
Round 4 9,759 7,730 79.2
Round 5 8,245 6,604 80.1
Panel 18 Round 2 10,977 8,755 79.8
Round 3 9,757 7,573 77.6
Round 4 8,526 6,858 80.4
Round 5 7,918 6,173 78.0
Panel 19 Round 2 10,749 8,261 76.9
Round 3 9,618 6,902 71.8
Round 4 8,557 6,579 76.9
Round 5 7,767 5,905 76.0
Panel 20 Round 2 12,074 8,796 72.9
Round 3 10,577 7,432 70.3
Round 4 9,0994 6,945 76.3
Round 5 8,312 6,339 76.3
Panel 21 Round 2 10,783 7,985 74.1
Round 3 9,540 6,847 71.8
Round 4 8,172 6,387 78.2
Panel 22 Round 2 10,510 7,919 75.4

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Table A-5 Results of Self-Administered Questionnaire (SAQ) collection

Panel/round SAQs requested SAQs completed SAQs refused Other nonresponse Response rate (%)
Panel 1 Round 2 16,577 9,910     59.8
Round 3 6,032 1,469 840 3,723 24.3
Combined, 1996 16,577 11,379     68.6
Panel 4* Round 4 13,936 12,265 288 1,367 87.9
Round 5 1,683 947 314 422 56.3
Combined, 2000 13,936 13,212     94.8
Panel 5* Round 2 11,239 9,833 191 1,213 86.9
Round 3 1,314 717 180 417 54.6
Combined, 2000 11,239 10,550     93.9
Round 4 7,812 6,790 198 824 86.9
Round 5 1,022 483 182 357 47.3
Combined, 2001 7,812 7,273 380 1,181 93.1
Panel 6 Round 2 16,577 14,233 412 1,932 85.9
Round 3 2,143 1,213 230 700 56.6
Combined, 2001 16,577 15,446 642 2,632 93.2
Round 4 15,687 13,898 362 1,427 88.6
Round 5 1,852 967 377 508 52.2
Combined, 2002 15,687 14,865 739 1,935 94.8
Panel 7 Round 2 12,093 10,478 196 1,419 86.6
Round 3 1,559 894 206 459 57.3
Combined, 2002 12,093 11,372 402 1,878 94.0
Round 4 11,703 10,125 285 1,292 86.5
Round 5 1,493 786 273 434 52.7
Combined, 2003 11,703 10,911 558 1,726 93.2
Panel 8 Round 2 12,533 10,765 203 1,565 85.9
Round 3 1,568 846 234 488 54.0
Combined, 2003 12,533 11,611 437 2,053 92.6
Round 4 11,996 10,534 357 1,105 87.8
Round 5 1,400 675 344 381 48.2
Combined, 2004 11,996 11,209 701 1,486 93.4
Panel 9 Round 2 12,541 10,631 381 1,529 84.8
Round 3 1,670 886 287 496 53.1
Combined, 2004 12,541 11,517 668 2,025 91.9
Round 4 11,913 10,357 379 1,177 86.9
Round 5 1,478 751 324 403 50.8
Combined, 2005 11,913 11,108 703 1,580 93.2
Panel 10 Round 2 12,360 10,503 391 1,466 85.0
Round 3 1,626 787 280 559 48.4
Combined, 2005 12,360 11,290 671 2025 91.3
Round 4 11,726 10,081 415 1,230 86.0
Round 5 1,516 696 417 403 45.9
Combined, 2006 11,726 10,777 832 1,633 91.9
Panel 11 Round 2 13,146 10,924 452 1,770 83.1
Round 3 1,908 948 349 611 49.7
Combined, 2006 13,146 11,872 801 2,381 90.3
Round 4 12,479 10,771 622 1,086 86.3
Round 5 1,621 790 539 292 48.7
Combined, 2007 12,479 11,561 1,161 1,378 92.6
Panel 12 Round 2 10,061 8,419 502 1,140 83.7
Round 3 1,460 711 402 347 48.7
Combined, 2007 10,061 9,130 904 1,487 90.7
Round 4 9,550 8,303 577 670 86.9
Round 5 1,145 541 415 189 47.3
Combined, 2008 9,550 8,844 992 859 92.6
Panel 13 Round 2 14,410 12,541 707 1,162 87.0
Round 3 1,630 829 439 362 50.9
Combined, 2008 14,410 13,370 1,146 1,524 92.8
Round 4 13,822 12,311 559 952 89.1
Round 5 1,364 635 476 253 46.6
Combined, 2009 13,822 12,946 1,705 1205 93.7
Panel 14 Round 2 13,335 11,528 616 1,191 86.5
Round 3 1,542 818 426 298 53.1
Combined, 2009 13,335 12,346 1042 1,489 92.6
Round 4 12,527 11,041 644 839 88.1
Round 5 1,403 645 497 261 46.0
Combined, 2010 12,527 11,686 1,141 1,100 93.3
Panel 15 Round 2 11,857 10,121 637 1,096 85.4
Round 3 1,491 725 425 341 48.6
Combined, 2010 11,857 10,846 1,062 1,437 91.5
Round 4 11,311 9,804 572 935 86.7
Round 5 1,418 678 461 279 47.8
Combined, 2011 11,311 10,482 1,033 1,214 92.6
Panel 16 Round 2 15,026 12,926 707 1393 86.0
Round 3 1,863 949 465 449 50.9
Combined, 2011 15,026 13,875 1,172 728 92.3
Round 4 13,620 12,415 582 623 91.2
Round 5 1,112 516 442 154 46.4
Combined, 2012 13,620 12,931 1,024 777 94.9
Panel 17 Round 2 14,181 12,567 677 937 88.6
Round 3 1,395 690 417 288 49.5
Combined, 2012 14,181 13,257 1,094 1,225 93.5
Round 4 13,086 11,566 602 918 88.4
Round 5 1,429 655 504 270 45.8
Combined, 2013 13,086 12,221 1,106 1,188 93.4
Panel 18 Round 2 13,158 10,805 785 1,568 82.1
Round 3 2,066 1,022 547 497 48.5
Combined, 2013 13,158 11,827 1,332 2,065 89.9
Round 4 12,243 10,050 916 1,277 82.1
Round 5 2,063 936 721 406 45.4
Combined, 2014 12,243 10,986 1,637 1,683 89.7
Panel 19 Round 2 12,664 10,047 1,014 1,603 79.3
Round 3 2,306 1,050 694 615 44.5
Combined, 2014 12,664 11,097 1,708 2,218 87.6
Round 4 11,782 9,542 1,047 1,175 81.0
Round 5 2,131 894 822 414 42.0
Combined, 2015 11,782 10,436 1,869 1,589 88.6
Panel 20 Round 2 14,077 10,885 1,223 1,966 77.3
Round 3 2,899 1,329 921 649 45.8
Combined, 2015 14,077 12,214 2,144 2,615 86.8
Round 4 13,068 10,572 1,127 1,371 80.9
Round 5 2,262 1,001 891 370 44.3
Combined, 2016 13,068 11,573 2,018 1,741 88.6
Panel 21 Round 2 13,143 10,212 1,170 1,761 77.7
Round 3 2,585 1,123 893 569 43.4
Combined, 2016 13,143 11,335 2,063 2,330 86.2
Panel 22 Round 2 12,304 9,929 1,086 1,289 80.7

* Totals represent combined collection of the SAQ and the parent-administered questionnaire (PAQ).

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Table A-6 Results of Diabetes Care Supplement (DCS) collection*

Panel/round DCSs requested DCSs completed Response rate (%)
Panel 4 Round 5 696 631 90.7
Panel 5 Round 3 550 508 92.4
Round 5 570 500 87.7
Panel 6 Round 3 1,166 1,000 85.8
Round 5 1,202 1,166 97.0
Panel 7 Round 3 870 848 97.5
Round 5 869 820 94.4
Panel 8 Round 3 971 885 91.1
Round 5 977 894 91.5
Panel 9 Round 3 1,003 909 90.6
Round 5 904 806 89.2
Panel 10 Round 3 1,060 939 88.6
Round 5 1,078 965 89.5
Panel 11 Round 3 1,188 1,030 86.7
Round 5 1,182 1,053 89.1
Panel 12 Round 3 917 825 90.0
Round 5 883 815 92.3
Panel 13 Round 3 1,278 1,182 92.5
Round 5 1,278 1,154 90.3
Panel 14 Round 3 1,174 1,048 89.3
Round 5 1,177 1,066 90.6
Panel 15 Round 3 1,117 1,000 89.5
Round 5 1,097 990 90.3
Panel 16 Round 3 1,425 1,283 90.0
Round 5 1,358 1,256 92.5
Panel 17 Round 3 1,315 1,177 89.5
Round 5 1,308 1,174 89.8
Panel 18 Round 3 1,362 1,182 86.8
Round 5 1,342 1,187 88.5
Panel 19 Round 3 1,272 1,124 88.4
Round 5 1,316 1,144 87.2
Panel 20 Round 3 1,412 1,190 84.5
Round 5 1,386 1,174 84.9
Panel 21 Round 3 1,422 1,170 82.5

* Tables represent combined DCS/proxy DCS collection.

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Table A-7. Calls to respondent information line

Reason for call Spring 2000 (Panel 5 Round 1, Panel 4 Round 3, Panel 3 Round 5) Fall 2000 (Panel 5 Round 2, Panel 4 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address change 23 4.0 13 8.3 8 5.7
Appointment 37 6.5 26 16.7 28 19.9
Request callback 146 25.7 58 37.2 69 48.9
Refusal 183 32.2 20 12.8 12 8.5
Willing to participate 10 1.8 2 1.3 0 0.0
Other 157 27.6 35 22.4 8 5.7
Report a respondent deceased 5 0.9 1 0.6 0 0.0
Request a Spanish-speaking interview 8 1.4 1 0.6 0 0.0
Request SAQ help 0 0.0 0 0.0 16 11.3
Total 569   156   141  

Reason for call Spring 2001 (Panel 6 Round 1, Panel 5 Round 3, Panel 4 Round 5) Fall 2001 (Panel 6 Round 2, Panel 5 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 27 3.7 17 12.7 56 15.7
Appointment 119 16.2 56 41.8 134 37.5
Request callback 259 35.3 36 26.9 92 25.8
No message 8 1.1 3 2.2 0 0.0
Other 29 4.0 7 5.2 31 8.7
Request SAQ help 0 0.0 2 1.5 10 2.8
Special needs 5 0.7 3 2.2 0 0.0
Refusal 278 37.9 10 7.5 25 7.0
Willing to participate 8 1.1 0 0.0 9 2.5
Total 733   134   357  

Reason for call Spring 2002 (Panel 7 Round 1, Panel 6 Round 3, Panel 5 Round 5) Fall 2002 (Panel 7 Round 2, Panel 6 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 28 4.5 29 13.9 66 16.7
Appointment 77 12.5 71 34.1 147 37.1
Request callback 210 34.0 69 33.2 99 25.0
No message 6 1.0 3 1.4 5 1.3
Other 41 6.6 17 8.2 10 2.5
Request SAQ help 0 0.0 0 0.0 30 7.6
Special needs 1 0.2 0 0.0 3 0.8
Refusal 232 37.6 14 6.7 29 7.3
Willing to participate 22 3.6 5 2.4 7 1.8
Total 617   208   396  

Reason for call Spring 2003 (Panel 8 Round 1, Panel 7 Round 3, Panel 6 Round 5) Fall 2003 (Panel 8 Round 2, Panel 7 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 20 4.2 33 13.7 42 17.9
Appointment 83 17.5 87 36.1 79 33.8
Request callback 165 34.9 100 41.5 97 41.5
No message 16 3.4 7 2.9 6 2.6
Other 9 1.9 8 3.3 3 1.3
Request SAQ help 0 0.0 0 0.0 1 0.4
Special needs 5 1.1 0 0.0 0 0.0
Refusal 158 33.4 6 2.5 6 2.6
Willing to participate 17 3.6 0 0.0 0 0.0
Total 473   241   234  

Reason for call Spring 2004 (Panel 9 Round 1, Panel 8 Round 3, Panel 7 Round 5) Fall 2004 (Panel 9 Round 2, Panel 8 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 8 1.6 26 13.2 42 10.9
Appointment 67 13.3 76 38.6 153 39.7
Request callback 158 31.5 77 39.1 139 36.1
No message 9 1.8 5 2.5 16 4.2
Other 8 1.6 5 2.5 5 1.3
Proxy needed 5 1.0 2 1.0 0 0.0
Request SAQ help 0 0.0 0 0.0 2 0.5
Special needs 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Refusal 228 45.4 6 3.0 27 7.0
Willing to participate 19 3.8 0 0.0 1 0.3
Total 502   197   385  

Reason for call Spring 2005 (Panel 10 Round 1, Panel 9 Round 3, Panel 8 Round 5) Fall 2005 (Panel 10 Round 2, Panel 9 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 16 3.3 23 8.7 27 6.8
Appointment 77 15.7 117 44.3 177 44.4
Request callback 154 31.4 88 33.3 126 31.6
No message 14 2.9 11 4.2 28 7.0
Other 13 2.7 1 0.4 8 2.0
Proxy needed 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Request SAQ help 0 0.0 0 0.0 1 0.3
Special needs 1 0.2 1 0.4 0 0.0
Refusal 195 39.8 20 7.6 30 7.5
Willing to participate 20 4.1 3 1.1 2 0.5
Total 490   264   399  

Reason for call Spring 2006 (Panel 11 Round 1, Panel 10 Round 3, Panel 9 Round 5) Fall 2006 (Panel 11 Round 2, Panel 10 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 7 1.3 24 7.5 11 4.1
Appointment 61 11.3 124 39.0 103 38.1
Request callback 146 27.1 96 30.2 101 37.4
No message 72 13.4 46 14.5 21 7.8
Other 16 3.0 12 3.8 8 3.0
Proxy needed 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Request SAQ help 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Special needs 4 0.7 0 0.0 0 0.0
Refusal 216 40.1 15 4.7 26 9.6
Willing to participate 17 3.2 1 0.3 0 0.0
Total 539   318   270  

Reason for call Spring 2007 (Panel 12 Round 1, Panel 11 Round 3, Panel 10 Round 5) Fall 2007 (Panel 12 Round 2, Panel 11 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 8 2.1 21 7.3 23 7.6
Appointment 56 14.6 129 44.8 129 42.6
Request callback 72 18.8 75 26.0 88 29.0
No message 56 14.6 37 12.8 33 10.9
Other 20 5.2 15 5.2 6 2.0
Proxy needed 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Request SAQ help 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Special needs 5 1.3 0 0.0 1 0.3
Refusal 160 41.8 10 3.5 21 6.9
Willing to participate 6 1.6 1 0.3 2 0.7
Total 383   288   303  

Reason for call Spring 2008 (Panel 13 Round 1, Panel 12 Round 3, Panel 11 Round 5) Fall 2008 (Panel 13 Round 2, Panel 12 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 20 3.4 12 4.7 21 5.7
Appointment 92 15.5 117 45.9 148 39.9
Request callback 164 27.6 81 31.8 154 41.5
No message 82 13.8 20 7.8 22 5.9
Other 13 2.2 12 4.7 8 2.2
Proxy needed 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Request SAQ help 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Special needs 4 0.7 0 0.0 0 0.0
Refusal 196 32.9 13 5.1 18 4.9
Willing to participate 24 4.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Total 595   255   371  

Reason for call Spring 2009 (Panel 14 Round 1, Panel 13 Round 3, Panel 12 Round 5) Fall 2009 (Panel 14 Round 2, Panel 13 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 10 2.2 13 4.3 19 5.1
Appointment 49 10.8 87 29.0 153 41.1
Request callback 156 34.4 157 52.3 153 41.1
No message 48 10.6 23 7.7 20 5.4
Other 3 0.7 8 2.7 3 0.8
Proxy needed 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Request SAQ help 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Special needs 4 0.9 0 0.0 0 0.0
Refusal 183 40.3 11 3.7 24 6.5
Willing to participate 1 0.2 1 0.3 0 0.0
Total 454   300   372  

Reason for call Spring 2010 (Panel 15 Round 1, Panel 14 Round 3, Panel 13 Round 5) Fall 2010 (Panel 15 Round 2, Panel 14 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 2 0.8 42 8.2 25 5.3
Appointment 44 18.0 214 41.6 309 66.0
Request callback 87 35.7 196 38.1 46 9.8
No message 17 7.0 33 6.4 17 3.6
Other 7 2.9 8 1.6 14 3.0
Request SAQ help 0 0.0 0 0.0 12 2.6
SAQ refusal 0 0.0 0 0.0 1 0.2
Special needs 1 0.4 1 0.2 1 0.2
Refusal 86 35.2 20 3.9 43 9.2
Willing to participate 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Total 244   514   468  

Reason for call Spring 2011 (Panel 16 Round 1, Panel 15 Round 3, Panel 14 Round 5) Fall 2011 (Panel 16 Round 2, Panel 15 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 16 3.4 46 8.0 72 9.8
Appointment 175 37.6 407 71.0 466 63.5
Request callback 81 17.4 63 11.0 69 9.4
No message 24 5.2 26 4.5 23 3.1
Other 12 2.6 8 1.4 25 3.4
Request SAQ help 1 0.2 2 0.3 32 4.4
SAQ refusal 0 0.0 0 0.0 46 6.3
Special needs 0 0.0 0 0.0 1 0.1
Refusal 157 33.7 21 3.7 0 0.0
Willing to participate 0 0.0 0   0 0.0
Total 466   573   734  

Reason for call Spring 2012 (Panel 17 Round 1, Panel 16 Round 3, Panel 15 Round 5) Fall 2012 (Panel 17 Round 2, Panel 16 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 18 5.0 107 13.4 108 12.2
Appointment 130 36.1 517 64.9 584 65.8
Request callback 60 16.7 94 11.8 57 6.4
No message 21 5.8 17 2.1 18 2.0
Other 10 2.8 25 3.1 16 1.8
Proxy needed 0 0.0 1 0.1 2 0.2
Request SAQ help 2 0.6 6 0.8 42 4.7
SAQ refusal 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Special needs 1 0.3 0 0.0 0 0.0
Refusal 117 32.5 30 3.8 60 6.8
Willing to participate 1 0.3 0 0.0 0 0.0
Total 360   797   887  

Reason for call Spring 2013 (Panel 18 Round 1, Panel 17 Round 3, Panel 16 Round 5) Fall 2013 (Panel 18 Round 2, Panel 17 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 18 4.4 82 10.8 53 9.0
Appointment 143 35.0 558 73.0 370 62.6
Request callback 71 17.4 88 11.5 70 11.8
No message 8 2.0 11 1.4 16 2.8
Other 2 0.5 4 .5 5 0.9
Proxy needed 1 0.2 1 0.1 1 0.2
Request SAQ help 1 0.2 0 0.0 31 5.3
SAQ refusal 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Special needs 2 0.5 0 0.0 2 0.3
Refusal 162 39.5 19 2.5 43 7.3
Willing to participate 1 0.2 1 0.1 0 0.0
Total 409   764   591  

Reason for call Spring 2014 (Panel 19 Round 1, Panel 18 Round 3, Panel 17 Round 5) Fall 2014 (Panel 19 Round 2, Panel 18 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 11 3.2 71 11.1 62 8.4
Appointment 75 22.1 393 61.5 490 66.5
Request callback 70 20.6 113 17.7 70 9.5
No message 11 3.2 12 1.9 28 3.9
Other 0 0.0 5 0.8 7 0.9
Proxy needed 0 0.0 0 0.0 1 0.1
Request SAQ help 0 0.0 1 0.2 4 0.5
SAQ refusal 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Special needs 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Refusal 165 48.5 44 6.9 74 10.0
Willing to participate 8 2.4 0 0.0 1 0.1
Total 340   639   737  

Reason for call Spring 2015 (Panel 20 Round 1, Panel 19 Round 3, Panel 18 Round 5) Fall 2015 (Panel 20 Round 2, Panel 19 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 10 2.3 61 8.8 55 9.6
Appointment 95 21.8 438 63.4 346 60.7
Request callback 85 19.5 112 16.2 52 9.1
No message 14 3.2 17 2.5 4 0.7
Other 2 0.5 3 0.4 3 0.5
Proxy needed 1 0.2 7 1.0 8 1.4
Request SAQ help 1 0.2 3 0.4 11 1.9
SAQ refusal 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Special needs 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Refusal 206 47.2 47 6.8 91 16.0
Willing to participate 22 5.0 3 0.4 0 0.0
Total 436   691   570  

Reason for call Spring 2016 (Panel 21 Round 1, Panel 20 Round 3, Panel 19 Round 5) Fall 2016 (Panel 21 Round 2, Panel 20 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 8 2.7 64 11.7 48 7.9
Appointment 93 30.9 362 66.2 373 61.7
Request callback 47 15.6 59 10.8 83 13.7
No message 1 0.3 7 1.3 6 1.0
Other 2 0.7 1 0.2 3 0.5
Proxy needed 0 0.0 5 0.9 6 1.0
Request SAQ help 0 0.0 3 0.5 11 1.8
SAQ refusal 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Special needs 1 0.3 0 0.0 0 0.0
Refusal 139 46.2 46 8.4 75 12.4
Willing to participate 10 3.3 0 0.0 0 0.0
Total 301   547   605  

Reason for call Spring 2017 (Panel 22 Round 1, Panel 21 Round 3, Panel 20 Round 5) Fall 2017 (Panel 22 Round 2, Panel 21 Round 4)
Round 1 Rounds 3 and 5 Rounds 2 and 4
N % N % N %
Address/telephone change 10 2.9 51 9.6 35 6.8
Appointment 86 24.9 355 66.6 318 61.4
Request callback 59 17.1 90 16.9 64 12.4
No message 1 0.3 2 0.4 5 1.0
Other 2 0.6 3 0.6 4 0.8
Proxy needed 1 0.3 7 1.3 5 1.0
Request SAQ help 1 0.3 0 0.0 15 2.9
SAQ refusal 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Special needs 0 0.0 1 0.2 1 0.2
Refusal 172 49.7 23 4.3 70 13.5
Willing to participate 14 4.0 1 0.2 1 0.2
Total 346   533   518  

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Table A-8. Files delivered during 2017

Date Delivery Group Description
1/3/2017 2015 UEGN Delivery of the 2015 Pre-Imputation Files
1/4/2017 2015 HINS Delivery of the 2015 HINS Building Block Variables and COVERM Tables for Panel 19 Rounds 3 – 5 and Panel 20 Rounds 1 – 3
1/4/2017 2015 HINS Delivery of the 2015 HINS Month-by-Month, Tricare plan, Private, Medicare, and Medicaid HMO/Gatekeeper, and PMEDIN/DENTIN variables
1/4/2017 2015 HINS Delivery of the FY 2015 HINS Medicare Part D supplemental variables
1/4/2017 2015 PRPL FY15 PRPL Specifications Coverage Record and HMO Variables, JOBS Link and Variable Editing, and Variable Editing: Post JOBS Linking
1/5/2017 2017 DOCM 2017 NPI provider file uploaded to RTI
1/6/2017 2016 EMPL Unweighted Medians for the 2016 Point-in-Time Hourly Wage Variable
1/6/2017 2015 HLTH Delivery of Adult and Child Height and Weight for the MEPS Master Files for FY 2015
1/6/2017 2015 PCND 2015 Person-Level Priority Conditions Cross-Tabulations
1/9/2017 2016 DOCM Delivery of the 2016 MPC files for Sample selection - Wave 1
1/9/2017 2016 DOCM Delivery of the 2016 PC Sample file - Wave 1
1/9/2017 2016 DOCM Delivery of the 2016 Provider file for NPI coding - Wave 1
1/9/2017 2016 DOCM Delivery of the 2016 MOS Sample file - Wave 1
1/9/2017 2015 GNRL Delivery of End-Of-Round files (RU level and Person level) -P20R4
1/9/2017 2015 UEGN Specifications for the 2015 Non-MPC Expenditure Event Files
1/10/2017 2015 UEGN The 2015 Utilization Standard Error Benchmarking Tables Using Person Use PUF Weights- PERWT15P
1/11/2017 2015 WGTS Create the Full Year 2015 Person Use SAQ Weights Delivery File
1/16/2016 2015 GNRL Delivery of End-Of-Round files (RU level and Person level) – P21R2
1/17/2017 2015 ADMN Delivery of 2015 FAMID Variables and CPS Family Identifier
1/17/2017 2015 DEMO Delivery of the Output Listings for Final Case Review of the MOPID and DAPID Variables’ Construction for FY2015
1/17/2017 2015 COND 2015 Preliminary Conditions File and Associated Documents for AHRQ Review
1/18/2017 2015 GNRL Preliminary Version of the 2015 JOBS File Codebook and Delivery
1/18/2017 2015 GNRL FY2015 Use PUF Preliminary Codebook and Delivery Document for AHRQ and NCHS Review
1/18/2017 2015 GNRL FY 2015 (Panel 19 and Panel 20) Delivery Database Snapshots JOBS Files with Industry and Occupation Codes, COND Files with Condition Codes, and CCS Codes
1/25/2017 2015 UEPD 2015 INSURC15 variable for use in the Prescribed Medicines Imputation
1/26/2017 2015 DEMO Delivery of the MOPID and DAPID Variables for FY2015
2/1/2017 2016 EMPL PIT2016 Panel 21 Round 1 Editing of High Wage Outliers – Request for Approval
2/1/2017 2015 UEGN 2015 MPC HHA provider reported low charge events
2/1/2017 2016 WGTS Panel 21 Round 1 DU weights review output
2/1/2017 2016 WGTS Panel 21 Round 1 Family weights review output
2/2/2017 2016 WGTS Panel 21 Round 1 Person weights review output
2/2/2017 2016 WGTS MEPS: Establishing Variance Estimation Strata and PSUs for the 2016 Point-in-Time PUF Panel 21 Round 1, and Panel 20, Round 3
2/3/2017 2015 WGTS Panel 20/Round 3 Person weights review output
2/6/2017 2015 WGTS Panel 20/Round 3 family weights review output
2/10/2017 2015 GNRL HC-176: 2015 Jobs Public Use File Delivery for Web Release
2/10/2017 2015 GNRL HC-174: Delivery of the Full Year 2015 Use PUF for Web Release
2/13/2017 2016 WGTS MEPS Panel 20 Round 3 - Creation of Family-Level Weights
2/13/2017 2016 WGTS Creation of the Delivery File for the 2016 PIT P20R3/P21R1 Preliminary Individual Panel Person and Family Weights and Preliminary (draft) Variance Strata and PSU
2/14/2017 2016 WGTS MEPS Panel 21 Round 1 – DU Level Weight
2/16/2017 2015 COND FY 2015 Preliminary CLNK File
2/16/2017 2016 EMPL PIT2016 Panel 21 Round 1 Editing of High Wage Outliers – Request for Approval
2/16/2017 2016 WGTS MEPS Panel 21 Round 1 – Family-Level Weights
2/16/2017 2016 WGTS MEPS Panel 21 Round 1 – Person-Level Weights
2/16/2017 2016 WGTS Preliminary run for Estimating Standard Errors Using SUDAAN for the Panel 21, Round 1 and Panel 20, Round 3 PIT 2016 PUF Data—Checking the Variance Strata and PSUs
2/17/2017 2015 UEGN Deliver the variable List for the 2015 Non-MPC Expenditure Event PUF Files (DN, OM and HH)
2/21/2017 2015 UEPD 2015 Prescribed Medicines price outlier review
2/21/2017 2016 WGTS 2016 P20R3/P21R1 Family weights review output
2/22/2017 2016 GNRL Preliminary Version of the 2016 Point-in-Time File
2/22/2017 2016 WGTS 2016 P20R3/P21R1 Person weights review output
2/24/2017 2015 WGTS MEPS Panels 19 and 20 Full Year 2015: Combine and Rake the P19 and P20 Weights to Obtain the P19P20FY15 Person-Level USE Weights
2/24/2017 2015 WGTS Establishing Variance Estimation Strata and PSUs, and Estimating Standard Errors Using SUDAAN for the Full Year 2015 PUF, Panel 19, Rounds 3-5 and Panel 20, Rounds 1-3
3/2/2017 2016 EMPL Point-In-Time 2016 Hourly Wage Top Code Value
3/2/2017 2015 MEPS Updated SOP Coding Static Table from the 2015 MPC, for transfer to Westat
3/3/2017 2016 WGTS Delivery of 2016 Point-in-Time Person-Level and Family-Level Weights
3/3/2017 2016 WGTS Internal Use File Used for the Weights Development for 2016 Point-in-Time
3/6/2017 2016 WGTS Final: Estimating Standard Errors Using SUDAAN for the Panel 21, Round 1 and Panel 20, Round 3 PIT 2016 PUF Data—Checking the Variance Strata and PSUs
3/6/2017 2016 WGTS (Point-in-Time) Complete construction and hand off all Point-in-Time weight variables (person weight, family weight, variance PSU, variance strata, MSA13, and REGION13) - P20/P21
3/6/2017 2015 WGTS MEPS, Combined Panel 20/Round 3 and Panel 21/Round 1, Computation of the Composite Family Weights
3/7/2017 2016 HINS 2016 HINS Point in Time Delivery Preliminary Data File for Benchmarking
3/7/2017 2015 UEGN The 2015 DN/HHP/OM/HHA Events Final Imputation Files
3/7/2017 2015 UEGN 2015 Benchmark Tables for DN, OM, HHP, and HHA
3/8/2017 2016 INCO Delivery of the 2016 NHIS Link File
3/9/2017 2016 WGTS Delivery of MEPS Panel 21 DU Weighting Master File
3/10/2017 2015 CODE 2015 File of GEO Coded Addresses – for the MEPS Master Files
3/10/2017 2016 EMPL Delivery of the Pre-Top Coded Version of the Point-in-Time Hourly Wage Variables for 2016 Point-in-Time
3/14/2017 2015 GNRL Preliminary Version of the 2015 Conditions File Delivery Document and Recode Materials for Review
3/14/2017 2016 GNRL Preliminary Version of the 2016 Point-in-Time Delivery Document for AHRQ and NCHS Review (Deliverable #: 16.611 (Draft) )
3/14/2017 2015 UEGN 2015 Benchmark Tables for MVN Events
3/14/2017 2015 UEGN The 2015 MVN Final Imputation File
3/16/2017 2015 GNRL Redelivery: Preliminary Version of the 2015 Conditions File Delivery Document and Recode Materials for Review
3/17/2017 2015 WGTS Delivery File Providing a Linkage between the Person Records Sampled for MEPS Panel 21 and the Person Records in the 2015 NHIS Weights File
3/17/2017 2016 WGTS MEPS, Combined Panel 20/Round 3 and Panel 21/Round 1, Computation of the Composite Person Weights
3/20/2017 2016 WGTS MEPS Panel 21 Round 1 – Creation of DU Weighting Master File Delivery
3/22/2017 2015 GNRL 2015 Preliminary Conditions File and Associated Documents for NCHS and AHRQ Review
3/22/2017 2016 GNRL Preliminary Version of the 2016 Point-in-Time Delivery Document and Codebook for AHRQ and NCHS Review (16.611 (Draft))
3/27/2017 2015 UEGN Deliver the variable List for the 2015 MPC Expenditure Event PUF Files (OP, OB, ER and IP)
3/29/2017 2015 WGTS FY2015 Combined Panels Expenditure Person Weight (PERWT15F) review output – delivery
3/29/2017 2015 WGTS FY2015 Combined Panels Expenditure Person Weight (PERWT15F) review output - delivery
3/29/2017 2015 WGTS FY2015 Individual Panels Expenditure Person Weights (WTP19P15F and WTP20P15F) review output, digital delivery
4/3/2017 2015 GNRL Delivery of the File Containing Variables Recoded or Dropped from the USE PUF after DRB Review - P19/P20
4/7/2017 2016 DOCM Delivery of the 2016 MPC files for Sample selection - Wave 2
4/7/2017 2016 DOCM Delivery of the 2016 PC Sample file - Wave 2
4/7/2017 2016 DOCM Delivery of the 2016 Provider file for NPI coding - Wave 2
4/7/2017 2016 DOCM Delivery of the 2016 MOS Sample file - Wave 2
4/8/2017 2015 UEGN 2015 Benchmark Tables for MPC Events
4/10/2017 2015 UEGN The 2015 Final Imputation Files: ER, HS, MVE, OP and SBD
4/10/2017 2015 WGTS Delivery of the Individual Panel Raked Person Weights for P19P20FY15
4/10/2017 2015 WGTS Delivery of the FY 2015 Expenditure File Original Person Weight
4/12/2017 2015 GNRL Delivery of the File Containing Variables Recoded or Dropped from the USE PUF after DRB Review - P19/P20
4/13/2017 2015 EMPL Delivery of 2015 Covered Person Records for Employment Variable Imputation
4/13/2017 2015 PRPL Delivery of the FY 2015 OOPELIG2 Dataset for Approval
4/14/2017 2015 GNRL NCHS Checklists and Preliminary Versions of Documents for the FY 2015 Non-MPC Event (DV, OM, and HH) PUF
4/14/2017 2016 GNRL HC177: 2016 Point-in-Time PUF Delivery for Web Release
4/17/2017 2016 GNRL Delivery of the Person-Level Sample Crosswalk Files for Panel 21 Round 1 - Round 2
4/17/2017 2016 HINS Changes to the FY 2016 HINS Basic and Inter-Round
4/19/2017 2015 GNRL Preliminary Versions of the 2015 Non-MPC Event (DV, OM, and HH) PUF Codebooks and Documents for Use in AHRQ and NCHS Review
4/19/2017 2014
2015
PCND 2014 and 2015 Remission and Cancer Age of Diagnosis Variable Datasets
4/20/2017 2016 GNRL Delivery of the File Containing Variables Recoded or Dropped from the 2016 Point-In-Time PUF after DRB Review – P20/P21
4/20/2017 2015 WGTS P19P20 FY2015 Person-level SAQ Expenditure Weights
4/20/2017 2015 WGTS Developing Sample Weights for the MEPS Diabetes Questionnaire Component (DCS) for the Panels 19 and 20 Full Year 2015 Expenditure File (PUF)
4/24/2017 2015 UEGN The 2015 Utilization Standard Error Benchmarking Tables Using Expenditure File Person Original Weight- PERWT15F_ORIG
4/26/2017 2015 WGTS Delivery of the Poverty-Adjusted Family Level Weight, CPS-Like Family Level Weight, Poverty-Adjusted DCS and SAQ Weights for FY2015
5/3/2017 2015 PRPL Delivery of the FY 2015 PRPL Hot Deck Imputation Results for Approval
5/3/2017 2015 WGTS Delivery of the Individual Panel 19 and Panel 20 SAQ Expenditure Weight for FY2015
5/5/2017 2015 CODE Weekly report #5 for condition coding - DY2016
5/5/2017 2015 UEPD Delivery of 2015 PMED PUF (RX15V01)
5/8/2017 2015 WGTS Panel 19 and Panel 20 Combined, Full Year 2015: Raking Person Weights Including the Poverty Status to Obtain the Expenditure Person Weights.
5/10/2017 2015 UEPD Delivery of 2015 PMED PUF (RX15V02)
5/11/2017 2015 UEGN Predictive Mean Matching Imputation Method Applied to the Expenditure Imputation of the MPC Event Types for the Full Year 2015 Data
5/11/2017 2015 UEGN Predictive Mean Matching Imputation Method Applied to the Expenditure Imputation of the non-MPC Event Types for the Full Year 2015 Data
5/11/2017 2015 WGTS P19 FY2015 Person-level SAQ Expenditure Weights
5/11/2017 2015 WGTS P20 FY2015 Person-level SAQ Expenditure Weights
5/11/2017 2015 WGTS Derivation of the 2015 Full Year Expenditure Family Weight, MEPS and CPS-Like, for Panel 19 and Panel 20 Combined
5/12/2017 2015 GNRL HC-178b, HC-178c, and HC-178h: 2015 Expenditure Event PUFs for Non-MPC Event Types (DV, OM, and HH) and All Related Files for Web Release
5/12/2017 2015 GNRL NCHS Checklists and Preliminary Versions of Documents for the FY 2015 MPC Event (IP, ER, OP, OB) PUFs
5/15/2017 2015 GNRL FY15 Office-Based Medical Provider Visits Dataset (HC178G)
5/16/2017 2015 PRPL Delivery of the FY 2015 OOPELIG2 Dataset for Approval
5/17/2017 2015 GNRL Preliminary Versions of the 2015 MPC Event (IP, ER, OP, OB) PUF Codebooks for Use in AHRQ and NCHS Review
5/17/2017 2015 UEPD Delivery of 2015 PMED PUF (RXNAME_CANNABIS_REVIEW.xlsx - A Complete Listing of all Cases for Cannabis Related Confidentiality Risks)
5/17/2017 2015 UEPD Delivery of 2015 PMED PUF (TC15XTABS.lst, TC15XTABS.xlsx)
5/22/2017 2015 UEPD Delivery of 2015 PMED PUF (RX15V03)
5/25/2017 2015 WGTS Delivery of the FY 2015 Expenditure File Final Person Weight – PERWT15F
5/26/2017 2016 DOCM DY2016 Wave III Estimates for MPC Sample File
5/31/2017 2015 DOCM Delivery of the Updated 2015 MOS Sample file - Wave 1 USCP
6/5/2017 2015 GNRL NCHS/DRB Review of FY 2015 Event PUFs (IP, ER, OP, & OB)
6/5/2017 2015 UEPD Delivery of 2015 PMED PUF (RX15V05.LST, RX15V06.LST, RX15V05X.LST, TOP10RX15_USE.LST, TOP10TC15_USE.LST, TOP10TC15_EXP.LST, TOP25RX15_EXP.LST and the preliminary version of the Prescription Drug Estimates Tables
6/6/2017 2016 GNRL FY2016 Person-Level Use PUF Variable List Changes for AHRQ Review
6/9/2017 2015 GNRL HC-178d, HC-178e, HC-178f, and HC-178g: 2015 Expenditure Event PUFs for MPC Event Types (IP, ER, OP, and OB) and All Related Files for Web Release
6/9/2017 2015 PRPL Delivery of the FY 2015 OOPELIG3 Dataset, Benchmarking results, POSTIMPFIN results for final approval of OOPPREM variables, and Preliminary Delivery Dataset
6/12/2017 2015 GNRL Addendum to the FY 2015 (Panel 19 & Panel 20) Delivery Database Snapshots: Edited Segments since the Previous Delivery of 1/18/17
6/12/2017 2015 UEPD Delivery of the 2015 PMED PUF (final version of the Prescription Drug Estimates Tables)
6/13/2017 2015 EMPL Delivery of 2015 Covered Person Records for Employment Variable Imputation
6/13/2017 2015 GNRL NCHS Checklist and Preliminary Version of Delivery Document for the FY 2015 Prescribed Medicines (PMED) PUF
6/13/2017 2015 UEPD Delivery of 2015 PMED PUF (RX15V05X) SAS dataset and the format files (RX15V05X.sas7bcat and rxexpf2.sas)
6/16/2017 2015 DOCM Delivery of the Updated 2015 MOS Sample file - Wave 1 USCP
6/16/2017 2016 DSDY Delivery of the DSDY "Missed Days” top code values for AHRQ approval
6/16/2017 2015 PCND 2015 Priority Conditions Benchmarking Table
6/16/2017 2015 UEPD 2015 PMED PUF data (RX15V06.sas7bdat) and the format files ((RX15V06.sas7bcat, rxexpv06f.sas and rxexpv06f2.sas)
6/20/2017 2016 DOCM Delivery of the Updated 2016 MOS Sample file - Wave 1 USCP
6/20/2017 2016 GNRL Delivery of End-Of-Round files (RU level and Person level) -P20R5
6/21/2017 2015 GNRL Preliminary Version of the 2015 Prescribed Medicines (PMED) Event PUF Codebook for Use in AHRQ and NCHS Review
6/22/2017 2015 UEGN Delivery of the Dropped Variables Due to DRB Review – FY15 EXP PUF files for DV, OM, ER, OP, OB, IP and RX
6/23/2017 2015 DOCM Delivery of the Updated 2015 MOS Sample file - Wave 2 USCP
6/23/2017 2016 DOCM Delivery of the Updated 2016 MOS Sample file - Wave 2 USCP
6/23/2017 2016 GNRL Full-Year 2016 Annotated and Consolidated Specifications, F1 Help Text, and Overall Context Flow for Web Release
6/30/2017 2015 GNRL Addendum to the FY 2015 (Panel 19 & Panel 20) Delivery Database Snapshots: Edited Segments since the Previous Delivery of 6/12/17
7/5/2017 2016 DOCM Delivery of 2016 MPC Sample file - Wave 3
7/5/2017 2016 DOCM Delivery of the 2016 PC Sample file
7/5/2017 2016 DOCM Delivery of the 2016 Provider file for NPI coding - Wave 3
7/6/2017 2015 GNRL NCHS Checklist and Preliminary Version of the Document for the FY 2015 Consolidated Data PUF
7/6/2017 2015 GNRL NCHS Checklist and Preliminary Version of Delivery Document for the FY 2015 Person Round Plan (PRPL) PUF
7/7/2017 2015 UEGN The 2015/2015 QC Finding Tables of PUF Event Expenditures
7/10/2017 2017 HINS Changes to the HINS Point-In-Time 2017 specifications
7/11/2017 2017 GNRL Point-in-Time 2017 PUF Variable List Changes for AHRQ Review
7/14/2017 2016 CODE Output of Matching program for Marc
7/14/2017 2015 GNRL Delivery of the 2015 Prescribed Medicines (PMED) PUF and all Related Files for Web Release
7/17/2017 2016 CODE Output of Matching program for Marc
7/17/2017 2015 GNRL Preliminary Version of the 2015 Consolidated File
7/18/2017 2015 GNRL Revised NCHS Checklist for the FY 2015 Consolidated Data PUF for Use in AHRQ and NCHS Review
7/18/2017 2014 UEGN 2014 Re-matching Review Summary
7/19/2017 2015 GNRL FY 2015 Conditions PUF Preliminary Versions of Codebook and Delivery Document for Use in AHRQ Review
7/19/2017 2015 GNRL FY 2015 Conditions PUF Preliminary Versions of Codebook and Delivery Document for Use in AHRQ Review
7/19/2017 2015 GNRL Preliminary Versions of the Codebook and Document for the FY 2015 Consolidated PUF for Use in AHRQ and NCHS Review
7/19/2017 2015 GNRL FY 2015 Person Round Plan PUF Preliminary Versions of Codebook and Delivery Document for Use in AHRQ and NCHS Review
7/19/2017 2015 GNRL Preliminary Version of the 2015 Appendix to the Event PUFs Delivery Document, Codebooks, and Table 1 for Review
7/24/2017 2016 GNRL Delivery of End-Of-Round files (RU level and Person level) -P21R3
7/25/2017 2015 GNRL Preliminary Versions of the Codebook and Document for the FY 2015 Consolidated Data PUF for Use in AHRQ and NCHS Review – Edited
7/26/2017 2016 UEGN The DN Text Strings Recoding for FY2016
7/27/2017 2016 GNRL Delivery of the Person-Level Sample Crosswalk Files for Panel 20 Round 1 - Round 5
7/28/2017 2015 GNRL HC179: Preliminary Version of the 2015 PRPL File
7/31/2017 2017 GNRL MEPS P20R5 raw data files
7/31/2017 2015 PRPL Ad Hoc Delivery of the FY 2015 Preliminary Unencrypted PRPL File
8/7/2017 2016 DOCM Delivery of the File of Provider Names for FY 2016
8/11/2017 2015 GNRL HC-181: Full Year 2015 Consolidated Use, Expense, and Insurance PUF Delivery for Web Release
8/11/2017 2015 GNRL H178I: Delivery of the Final Appendix to the 2015 Event Files and all Related Files for Web Release
8/11/2017 2015 GNRL HC-179: Delivery of the 2015 Person Round Plan (PRPL) PUF and Related Files for Web Release
8/11/2017 2015 GNRL HC-180: Delivery of the Final 2015 Conditions File and All Related Files for Web Release
8/15/2017 2017 GNRL MEPS P21R3 raw data files
8/18/2017 2017 GNRL Delivery of End-Of-Round files (RU level and Person level) -P22R1
8/21/2014 2016 ACCS 2016 ACCS Other Specify Text String Recoding
8/25/2017 2016 CSAQ Cancer SAQ- Panel 20 Round 3/Panel 21 Round 1-Constructed Variables
8/28/2017 2016 ACCS 2016 ACCS Other Specify Text String Recoding
9/5/2017 2016 DOCM MEPS 2016 Static table for conditions after the 2016 condition coding cycle
9/8/2017 2016 HINS Delivery of the P2116 EPCP Cross-tabs and Editing Results Documents
9/15/2017 2016 DEMO MEPS Race Programming Specifications for FY2016
9/15/2017 2017 GNRL MEPS P22R1 raw data files
9/20/2017 2014 UEGN 2014 MPC Rematched Files: Delivery of Final Imputed Files and Benchmark Tables
9/20/2017 2014 UEGN 2014 MPC Rematched Files: Findings on RTI SBD_SUM2 File
9/22/2017 2016 HINS Delivery of the P2016 EPCP Cross-tabs and Editing Results
9/28/2017 2016 DOCM Delivery of the 2016 SOP and SRCS Static Tables to RTI
9/29/2017 2017 EMPL PIT2017 Unweighted Establishment Size Medians
9/29/2017 2016 HINS Delivery of HINS Panel 21 Rounds 1 - 3 At Any Time/At Interview Date/At 12/31/16 Variables
10/2/2017 2016 PRPL Full Year 2016 PRPL File Revisions
10/16/2017 2016 EMPL FY2016 Panel 21 Editing of High Wage Outliers or Substantially Different Wages – Request for Approval
10/16/2017 2016 EMPL FY2016 Panel 21 Editing of Low Wage Outliers or Wages that Do No Change – Request for Approval
10/17/2017 2016 WGTS Delivery of the ADMN/DEMO Variables Used for Weights Development for P20P21FY16
10/18/2017 2017 WGTS March 2017 CPS and December 2016 control totals output, digital delivery
10/19/2017 2015 WGTS Panel 20 Full Year 2015: Derivation of Eligibility and Response Indicators for the CPS-like Families
10/19/2017 2017 WGTS MEPS Computation of the Person and Family Poststratification Control Totals for March 2017 from the March 2017 CPS (including the poverty level variable)
10/23/2017 2016 DOCM Delivery of the 2016 MPC Pre-Matching Household Component Production File – RTI
10/23/2017 2016 HINS Delivery of HINS Panel 20 Rounds 3 - 5 At Any Time/At Interview Date/At 12/31/16 Variables
10/24/2017 2016 WGTS MEPS Computation of the Person and Family Poststratification Control Totals for December 2016 from the March 2017 CPS (including the poverty level variable.)
11/2/2017 2016 WGTS Derivation of the Annualized MEPS Families and Identification of the Responding MEPS Families for MEPS Panel 21 Full Year 2016
11/3/2017 2016 DOCM Delivery of Person-Level Base Weight and Family Pseudo Weight for FY2016
11/3/2017 2016 WGTS Delivery of Person-Level Base Weight, Individual Panel Base Weight, Family Membership Flag, and MSA variables for FY2016
11/6/2017 2016 CODE Revised schedule and delivery of final coded files for DY2016
11/6/2017 2016 HINS Results of the QC Cross Tabs for the HINS 2016 HMO/Gatekeeper FY variables
11/7/2017 2015 WGTS Developing Panel 20 Self-Administered Questionnaire (SAQ) Use Weights for Full Year 2015
11/8/2017 2016 EMPL FY2016 Panel 20 Editing of High Wage Outliers or Substantially Different Wages – Request for Approval
11/8/2017 2016 EMPL FY2016 Panel 20 Editing of Low Wage Outliers or Wages that Do No Change – Request for Approval
11/13/2017 2016 WGTS Panel 20 Full Year 2016 person Weight Review Output, digital delivery
11/14/2017 2016 EMPL Approval of Weighted NUMEMP Medians for P20 R3-5 and P21 R1-3 of FY 2016
11/14/2017 2016 WGTS Panel 21 Full Year 2016 person Weight Review Output, digital delivery
11/15/2017 2016 UEGN The 2016 HHA Same Person/Provider for the Same Month Duplicate Counts
11/20/2017 2016 EMPL FY 2016 Hourly Wage Imputation Output for Approval
11/22/2017 2016 DSDY Delivery of the DSDY QC cross tabs for persons with a positive weight
11/27/2017 2016 FOOD FY 2016 Food Security PUF Constructed Variables and Labels
11/27/2017 2016 HLTH 2016 BMI Cross-tabulations and Frequencies
11/28/2017 2016 UEPD 2016 (Panel 20 & 21) Household Prescribed Medicine and Associated Files - Set 1
11/29/2017 2016 DSDY Delivery of the DSDY "Missed Days” top code values for AHRQ approval
11/30/2017 2014 WGTS Deriving location variables (Region and MSA) for Panel 21 Round 1, based on Geo FIPS Codes, using the OMB MSA definitions of both year 2014 and the most recent OMB MSA updates
12/1/2017 2016 EMPL Full Year 2016 Wage Top Code Value for AHRQ Approval
12/4/2017 2016 WGTS Full Year 2016 person weights Nursing Home and Mortality adjustments review output to AHRQ, digital delivery
12/5/2017 2016 WGTS Panel 20 Full Year 2016 SAQ Use person weight review output
12/5/2017 2016 WGTS Panel 21 Full Year 2016 SAQ Use person weight review output
12/5/2017 2016 WGTS Full Year 2016 SAQ person weight for the Use PUF review output
12/8/2017 2016 EMPL Delivery of the Full Year 2016 Pre-Top-Coded Hourly Wage Variables and Person-Level, Uncondensed Industry and Occupation Codes
12/8/2017 2016 WGTS Full Year 2016 combined panels Use file person weight review output
12/12/2017 2016 WGTS Delivery of the Variance Strata and PSU Variables for FY2016
12/13/2017 2016 EMPL Full Year 2016 JOBS File Establishment Size Top Code Value and Extent of JOBS Wage Top Coding for AHRQ Approval
12/13/2017 2016 WGTS Delivery of the SAQ Use PUF Weight and Individual Panel SAQ Weight Variables for FY2016
12/14/2017 2016 GNRL Preliminary Version of the 2016 Full-Year Use PUF Dataset
12/15/2017 2017 DOCM 2017 MPC sample file specs
12/15/2017 2017 DOCM 2017 PC sample file specs
12/15/2017 2017 DOCM 2017 provider file for NPI coding specs
12/15/2017 2015 UEGN The 2015 MEPS Master Files (File2 Files and Post Imputation Files)
12/15/2017 2015 UEGN Delivery of PDF files for the 2015 Post-Imputation Files and the 2015 Post-Edited, Pre-Imputed Files for the MEPS Master Files
12/15/2017 2016 WGTS Delivery of Person-Level Use PUF Weight, Single Panel Person Weight, and MSA16_13 Variables for FY16
12/18/2017 2016 UEGN 2016 Pre-Editing Expenditures QCs
12/21/2017 2016 EMPL Full Year 2016 Wage Top Coding Results
12/22/2017 2016 WGTS Derivation of MEPS Panel 20 Full Year 2016 Person Use Weights (Rounds 3-5)
12/21/2017 2016 UEPD 2016 (Panel 20 & 21) PMED Supplemental File - Set 2: Person-Level File and Additional 3 Segment Variable Files
12/27/2017 2016 NCO Delivery of the 2016 (Panel 20 & 21) INCOME File
12/27/2017 2016 UEGN 2016 Pre-Editing Expenditure QCs
12/27/2017 2016 UEPD 2016 (Panel 20 & 21) PMED Supplemental File - Set 3: Person/Round-Level Files
12/28/2017 2016 DEMO Delivery of the Output Listings for Case Review of the MOPID and DAPID Variables’ Construction for FY2016
12/28/2017 2016 HINS Delivery of the HINS Ever Insured in FY 2016 variables LASTAGE and INSCV916 to be added to the internal “MEPS Master Files"

Abbreviations used in table: ADMN, Administrative Analytical Group; ADW, Administrative/Demographics/Weights Analytical Group; BMI, body mass index; CAPI, Computer Assisted Personal Interview; CLNK, Condition-Event Link File; CODE, analytic group containing codes such as ICD, CCS, and CPT; COND, Conditions Analytical Group; COVERM, Oracle table that holds health insurance building block variables; CPS, Current Population Survey; DAPID, person ID of the person’s dad; DCS, Diabetes Care Supplement; DEMO, Demographics Analytical Group; DN, dental; EMPL, Employment Analytical Group; ER, emergency room; FAMID, family ID; GNRL, General Analytical Group; GEO, geographic coding; HC, Household Component; HH, home health; HHA, home health agency; HHP, home health paid independent; HINS, Household Insurance Analytical Group; HLTH, Health Analytical Group; INCO, Income Analytical Group; IP, inpatient; JOBS, Jobs File; MOPID, person ID of the person’s mother; MPC, Medical Provider Component; MVE, medical visit— MPC eligible; MVN, medical visit—non-MPC eligible; NHIS, National Health Interview Survey; OB, office-based; OM, other medical events; OP, outpatient; PCND, Person-Level Conditions Analytical Group; PMED, Prescribed Medicines File; PRPL, Person Round Plan File; PSU, primary sampling unit; RXLK, Prescribed Medicines-Event Link File; SAQ, Self-Administered Questionnaire; UEGN, Use and Expenditure Analytical Group; WGTS, Weight Analytical Group.

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