The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) currently sponsors five data collection efforts with different primary objectives (four national surveys and one compilation of selected State administrative databases) that can be used to estimate the utilization of inpatient hospital care in the United States. For some types of estimates, these surveys produce results that appear on the surface to be somewhat different while for others, the results are strikingly similar. Regardless, it is important to take several factors into consideration when characterizing and interpreting health care utilization estimates from different sources. This analysis compares overall and age-specific estimates of inpatient utilization for 1996, the most recent year for which data are currently available from the five DHHS sources. Three of the national surveys, the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component (MEPS-HC), and Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS), collect data through personal household interviews. In contrast, the National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) and Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project-Nationwide Inpatient Sample (HCUP-NIS) collect data from patient abstract records obtained from hospitals. Similarities and differences in the estimates are interpreted with respect to variations in survey methodologies, target populations, and the degree of sampling error associated with the estimates. The strengths and limitations of each source of data on the use of inpatient hospital care are also discussed.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to: 1. Identify Department of Health and Human Services data sources that can be used to develop estimates on inpatient care utilization. 2. Describe the relevant considerations when interpreting estimates of inpatient hospital care use from these sources. 3. Recognize the impact of different methodologies on the measurement of inpatient hospital use
Keywords: Statistics, Methodology
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA