For all persons, ZNFEXT captures the sum of direct payments for hospital facility expenses associated with 'zero-night' inpatient hospital visits made during the year, in which the dates of admission and discharge were reported as identical. Hospital facility expenses include direct hospital care, including room and board, diagnostic and laboratory work, x-rays, and similar expenses, as well as any physician services included in the hospital expense. 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. For more information on how MEPS collects expenditure data, please refer to our user note on medical expenditures.
Some analysts may prefer to exclude "zero-night stays" from inpatient analyses and/or count these stays as ambulatory visits. Therefore, a separate variable is provided that contains a count of the number of inpatient events where the reported dates of admission and discharge were the same (ZNTOTVIS). In addition, separate expenditure variables are provided for zero-night facility expenses (ZNFEXT) and for separately billing doctor expenses (ZNPREXT). Analysts who choose to exclude the zero-night stays from inpatient expenditure analyses need to subtract the zero-night expenditure variable from the corresponding expenditure variable for total inpatient stays.
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.
ZNFEXT is a 6-digit numeric variable.
- 1996-2016: All persons.
- 1996-2016 : PERWEIGHT