MEPS-MPC Sample Design and Data Collection
The MEPS Medical Provider Component (MPC) 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 authorization forms permitting the data collection
contractor to contact their health care providers to request both medical record
and billing data. 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.
The MPC data collection 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 year.
The following types of care and providers are included in the
- 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
- 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.
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 and SBDs are subsampled at varying rates
due to budget constraints. In addition, since household respondents are unable
to report Medicaid payment data, all providers associated with a household
that reported receiving Medicaid payments are included in the sample.
Once a household is selected for the sample, all in-scope medical care
providers associated with care to persons in those households 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 for 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
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 are used 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,