For all persons, DVOEXOPU captures the sum of direct payments made by other public insurance source during the year for dental care provided by orthodontists. Payments for over-the-counter drugs and indirect payments not related to specific medical events, such as Medicaid Disproportionate Share and Medicare Direct Medical Education subsidies, are not included in this amount.
AHRQ staff advise users to exercise caution when interpreting the expenditures recorded in DVOEXOPU. While these payments stem from apparent inconsistent responses to the health insurance and source of payment questions in the survey, some of these inconsistencies may have logical explanations. For example, some of the "other public" payments may stem from confusion between Medicaid and other state and local programs or may be for persons who were not enrolled in Medicaid, but were presumed eligible by a provider who ultimately received payments from the program. For more information on how MEPS collects expenditure data, please refer to our user note on medical expenditures.
For a small proportion of sample persons, the sum of the general dentist (DVGTOTVIS) and orthodontist visit (DVOTOTVIS) variables may not be equal to the total number of dental visits. This result can only occur for persons who were reported to have seen both a general dentist and orthodontist in the same visit(s). When this occurred, expenditures for the visit were included as orthodontist expenses (DVOEXTOT) but not as general dentist expenses (DVGEXTOT).
Variables related to total annual health care expenditures by source of payment, total annual health care expenditures by type of medical service, and total annual health care charges are also available. Please refer to our user note on expenditures for a list of these variables.
DVOEXOPU is a 6-digit numeric variable.
ComparabilityThe comparability of this variable over time has not yet been assessed.
- 1996-2016 : PERWEIGHT