MEPS-MPC Sample Design and Data Collection
The Medical Provider Component (MPC) of MEPS is a survey of hospitals,
physicians, and other medical facilities that provided care to
sampled household members in the course of the survey year. Patients
in sampled households were asked to sign permission forms authorizing
contact with their health care providers. The purpose of the MPC
is to supplement, verify, and/or replace information provided by household respondents
about the charges, payments, and sources of payment associated
with specific health care encounters. This is important because
people cannot always accurately answer questions about the health services
they received and about the cost of those services. The data collected
from the MPC are not designed to be nationally representative.
The information is used solely for editing and imputation
purposes on the Household Component. Therefore, these data will
not be released in a stand-alone file. These data are collected once
for each calendar year of data, during the year following the reference
The following types of care and providers are included in the
Dentists, optometrists, psychologists, podiatrists, chiropractors
and others not providing care under the supervision of an MD or
DO are considered out of scope for the MPC.
- Office-based medical doctors (MDs), doctors of osteopathy (DOs),
and other medical providers under the supervision of MDs and DOs
- Hospital facilities providing inpatient, outpatient and emergency
room care; for hospital care, the provider was defined so as to
include both the hospital facility and all individually identified
physicians who treated the patient at the hospital, but who bill
- Home care agencies
- Long-term health care institutions
The MPC sample is designed to target specific types of individuals
and providers for whom sampled household members reported expenditure data.
All hospitals, long-term health care institutions,
home care agencies,
and pharmacies that provided services to household respondents
are included in the MPC. Office based providers are subsampled
at varying rates due to budget constraints. In addition, since
are unable to report Medicaid payment data, all providers associated
with a household that reported receiving Medicaid payments are
the sample. Once a household is selected for the sample, all in-scope
medical care providers associated with care to persons in those
become part of the MPC sample.
The MPC questionnaires are designed to obtain information on both
the medical and financial characteristics of medical events. For
office and hospital events, this includes diagnoses, procedure
and inpatient stay codes (CPT-4s and DRGs), charges or charge equivalents
(where available) before any contractual adjustments or discounts,
sources and amounts of all payments made, and the reasons for any
difference between charges and payments. The home care questionnaire
asks for the type of practitioner who provided the service and
the number of hours of service or visits provided during the applicable
month; charges and payments also are collected on a
monthly basis. The pharmacy questionnaire asks for each medication listed:
date filled, national drug code (NDC), medication name, strength of medicine
(amount and unit), quantity (package size/amount dispensed), and payments
and amounts by source. However, when possible, a patient profile (a computer
generated printout of a person's drug purchases) is requested to make the
request less burdensome on the provider. Generally, patient profiles contain
all the data elements requested in the questionnaire.
The MPC will serve as an imputation source to reduce the level
of bias in survey estimates of medical expenditures due to item
non-response and household data of questionable quality. Its purpose
is to supplement household reported data and it is not intended
to be an independent sample of providers for estimation purposes.
Home Care Health Care Provider Event Form is used to collect data from home health care agencies which provide medical care services to household respondents. Information collected includes type of personnel providing care, hours or visits provided per month, and the charges and payments for services received.
Home Care Provider Event Form for Non-health Care Providers. This
is used to collect information about services provided in the home
by non-health care workers to household respondents because of
a medical condition; for example, cleaning or yard work, transportation,
shopping, or child care. Charges and payments for services received are also collected.
Institutional Event Form for Non-hospital Facilities. This
is used to collect information on services and expenditures
persons from the household sample who were admitted to a nursing
home, rehabilitation center, or other non-hospital long term health
care facility during the survey year.
Office-based Provider Event Form. This
is used to collect data from the office-based physician sample, including doctors of
medicine (MDs) and osteopathy (DOs), as well as providers practicing
under the direction or supervision of an MD or DO (e.g.,physician
assistants and nurse practitioners working in clinics). Providers
of care in private offices as well as staff model HMOs are included.
Separately Billing Doctors Event Form. Information
from physicians identified by hospitals as providing care to sampled
persons during the course of inpatient, outpatient department or
emergency room care, but who bill separately from the hospital,
is collected in these questionnaires.
Hospital Event Form. This is used to collect information
about hospitals events, including inpatient stays, outpatient department
and emergency room visits. Hospital data are collected not only
from the billing department, but the medical records and administrative
records departments as well. Medical records is contacted to determine
the names of all the doctors who treated the patient during a stay
or visit. In many cases, the hospital administrative office also
has to be contacted to determine whether the doctors identified
by medical records billed separately from the hospital itself.
HMO hospitals are included in the data collection effort.
Pharmacies and other sources of prescribed medicines Event Form. Pharmacy data
collection focuses on the request for a patient profile (a computer generated
listing of the prescriptions dispensed to a given customer). Date filled, NDC, medicine name, other drug
characteristics and sources, and amount of payments are collected. Pharmacy data collection
includes drug stores, grocery stores, discount stores, mail order, online,
clinics, HMOs and hospitals.
MEPS-MPC Sample Design and Data Collection Process.
October 2004. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality,