For all persons, ZNPRCHT captures the sum of fully established charges for "separately billing doctor" or SBD expenses associated with 'zero-night' inpatient hospital visits made during the year, in which the dates of admission and discharge were reported as identical. SBD expenses include 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.
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 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.
ZNPRCHT is a 6-digit numeric variable.
ComparabilityThe comparability of this variable over time has not yet been assessed.
- 1996-2016 : PERWEIGHT