For all persons, ZNPREXOPR captures the sum of direct payments made by other private insurance source 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. 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 advises users to exercise caution when interpreting the expenditures recorded in ZNPREXOPR. 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, private insurance coverage in MEPS is defined as having a major medical plan covering hospital and physician services. If a MEPS sample person did not have such coverage but had a single service type insurance plan (e.g., dental insurance) that paid for a particular episode of care, those payments may be classified as "other private." 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.
ZNPREXOPR is a 6-digit numeric variable.
- 1996-2016: All persons.
- 1996-2016 : PERWEIGHT