IPUMS MEPS is an NICHD-funded project designed to make Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component (MEPS-HC) data easier for researchers to use. MEPS-HC is an ongoing panel survey, started in 1996, that is produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

The goals of the IPUMS MEPS project are to:

  1. Harmonize the MEPS-HC data over time, with consistent variable names and coding
  2. Integrate the display of variable coding and technical documentation on the web, easing data discovery and appropriate use of the data
  3. Make it easier to use the MEPS-HC data longitudinally
  4. Facilitate the linkage of MEPS-HC data with National Health Interview Survey data by identifying common variables, implementing consistent variable naming conventions, and instituting comparable coding

Project Timeline

IPUMS MEPS is in its second funding cycle. We currently deliver more than 1,500 variables from the 1996-present on topics such as healthcare expenditures, health insurance coverage, medical conditions, medical events, and demographic characteristics from the Full Year Consolidated, Medical Condition, Dental Visit, Other Medical Expenses, Hospital Inpatient Stays, Emergency Room Visits, Outpatient Visits, Office-Based Medical Provider Visits, and Home Health files. Within our current five-year funding cycle, we anticipate adding data from the prescribed medicines files, adding all variables from the medical event and medical condition files, and continuing to add variables from the Full Year Consolidated files. We will also add key features designed to improve the accessibility of the data, including software that will allow users to define variables based on the medical conditions and medical events files and add them to their IPUMS extracts and a public-facing API.