|Aligning the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to Aggregate U.S. Benchmarks
|Household-level data are valuable for a range of research efforts, including health policy
microsimulation analyses, distributional studies, and analyses of condition-specific spending.
Household data, however, do not provide a complete picture of health care expenditures, because
they exclude certain types of outlays, such as administrative costs, government payments to
providers that are not linked to patient events, research, and public health. Household data also
do not provide information on employer premium contributions or tax subsidies. This paper
describes how data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) were aligned with
aggregate benchmarks from the National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA) and
supplemented with tax expenditure estimates to produce a database that will help support a range
of health research initiatives that require comprehensive measures of medical expenditures.
|Thomas M. Selden and Merrile Sing
|Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality