For all persons, HPCHGTOT captures the sum of fully established charges for care received from inpatient hospital visits during the year, excluding those for prescribed medicines. This includes payments for hospital facility expenses (including direct hospital care, including room and board, diagnostic and laboratory work, x-rays, and similar charges, as well as any physician services included in the hospital charge) and "separately billing doctor" or SBD expenses (including services provided to patients in hospital settings by providers like radiologists, anesthesiologists, and pathologists, whose charges are often not included in hospital bills). 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 more information on how MEPS collects expenditure and charge data, please refer to our user note on medical expenditures.
For more information about how hospital expenditures are handled for inpatient stays that do not include an overnight stay or hospitalizations for the birth of a child, please refer to the description for HPEXPTOT.
Variables related to total annual health care charges by source of payment, total annual health care charges by type of medical service, and analogous information for health care expenditures are also available. Please refer to our user note on medical expenditures for a list of these variables.
HPCHGTOT is a 6-digit numeric variable.
ComparabilityThe comparability of this variable over time has not yet been assessed.
- 2007-2018 : PERWEIGHT