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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality www.ahrq.gov
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MEPS Topics: Health Care Disparities
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Health Care Disparities
Description: The Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999 directed AHRQ to track "prevailing disparities in health care delivery as it relates to racial factors and socioeconomic factors in priority populations." The priority populations to be tracked are:
  • Minority groups
  • Low income groups
  • Women
  • Children
  • Elderly
  • Individuals with special health care needs, including individuals with disabilities and individuals who need chronic care or end-of-life care.

In addition, this legislation directs AHRQ to examine health care delivery in rural areas. Additional information on health care disparities is available in the annual National Healthcare Disparities Report http://www.ahrq.gov/qual/qrdr09.htm which uses MEPS as one of its data sources.

Since demographic characteristics are collected in the MEPS-HC, health care disparities can be examined for any topics within the MEPS HC survey.

Data tables: Most HC Summary Data Tables provide data by age, sex, race/ethnicity, health insurance status, poverty status, geographic region, urban vs. rural, and health status.
Analytic tools: You can use the MEPSnet/HC query tool to generate your own tables.
Audioicon AHRQ Podcasts: Healthcare 411 Series: Rising Health Care Costs 01:00 (MM:SS)
Publications: Publications are listed in reverse chronological order (most recent first).
Trends in the Pharmaceutical Treatment of Diabetes: A Comparison of Utilization and Expenditures, 1997 to 2007 
Statistical Brief #293 
Differences in Access to Care for Non-Hispanic Asian and Non-Hispanic White Children, 2002-2005 
Statistical Brief #224 
Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health Insurance Coverage and Usual Source of Health Care, 2002 
Chartbook #14 
Utilization and Expenditures for Children with Special Health Care Needs 
Research Findings #24 
The Long-Term Uninsured in America, 2002 to 2003: Estimates for the U.S. Population under Age 65 
Statistical Brief #104 
Health Care Expenses: Poor, Near Poor, and Low Income People in the United States Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2002 
Working Paper #5016 
Women's Health Care Utilization and Expenditures 
Working Paper #5014 
The Uninsured in America, 2004: Estimates for the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population under Age 65 
Statistical Brief #83 
Demographic and Clinical Variations in Health Status 
Methodology Report #15 
The Long-Term Uninsured in America, 2001 to 2002: Estimates for the U.S. Population under Age 65 
Statistical Brief #67 
The Long-Term Uninsured in America, 2000 to 2001: Estimates for the U.S. Population under Age 65 
Statistical Brief #57 
Health Care in Urban and Rural Areas, Combined Years 1998-2000 
Chartbook #13 
Health Insurance Coverage and Income Levels for the U.S. Noninstitutionalized Population under Age 65, 2001 
Statistical Brief #40 
Women in the Health Care System: Health Status, Insurance, and Access to Care 
Research Findings #17 
Disparities and Gender Gaps in Women's Health, 1996 
Chartbook #8 
The Uninsured in America--1999 
Highlights #13 
Health Status and Limitations: A Comparison of Hispanics, Blacks, and Whites, 1996 
Research Findings #10 
The Uninsured in America -- 1997 
Highlights #10 
Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health, 1996 
Chartbook #2 
Uninsured Workers--Demographic Characteristics, 1996 
Highlights #7 
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   Page last revised:  October 5, 2009