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Amount of charges for health care, doctor charges


For emergency room, inpatient hospitalizations, and outpatient events (EVENTYPE), EVCHGTOTDR captures the sum of fully established charges by separately billing doctors for care provided during the event. This variable does not usually reflect actual payments made for services, which can be substantially lower due to factors such as negotiated discounts, bad debt, and free care. For 2000-2017, outpatient events are not in universe if the visit was a telephone call (SEETLKPV). For more information on how MEPS collects expenditure data, please refer to our user note on medical expenditures.

IPUMS MEPS reports the universe for each variable based on a thorough review of the original MEPS documentation. Investigating the data may reveal cases that do not meet the stated universe. Users are encouraged to validate universes for their analyses.

EVCHGTOTDRĀ is on the event record (see RECTYPE for more details on the different record types in IPUMS MEPS). Variables offered on the event record through IPUMS MEPS are derived from the dental visits, other medical expenses, hospital inpatient stays, emergency room visits, outpatient visits, office-based medical provider visits, and home health event files provided by AHRQ. Please see our overview of the event, medical conditions, and prescribed medicines variables, including how those variables are offered through IPUMS MEPS, and general considerations to keep in mind when conducting analyses using these variables.


EVCHGTOTDR is a 10-digit numeric variable with 2 implied decimal places. That is, values of 1234567890 should be interpreted as 12,345,678.90. The command files delivered with IPUMS extracts automatically divide by 100, so no further adjustment is needed.

99999999.99: Not in Universe


Other than changes in universe this variable is completely comparable over time. See the universe tab for more details.


  • 1996-1999, 2018-2021: Outpatient visits, emergency room visits, and hospital inpatient stays (EVENTYPE).
  • 2000-2017: Emergency room visits and hospital inpatient stays (EVENTYPE) or outpatient visits where the visit was not a telephone call (SEETLKPV).


  • 1996-2021



This variable has no flags.