Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey Series RSS

Investigator(s): Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) Office of the Actuary

The Medicare Current Beneficiary Surveys (MCBS) are continuous, multipurpose datasets covering a representative sample of the Medicare population, both aged and disabled. The MCBS is sponsored by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) and directed by that agency's Office of the Actuary. The purpose of the MCBS is to aid in HCFA's administration, monitoring, and evaluation of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The MCBS focuses on economic issues -- health care use and expenditures and factors that affect use of care and the beneficiary's ability to pay. Fieldwork for Round 1 began in September 1991, and was completed in December 1991. The sample is annually supplemented during the September through December periods to account for attrition and newly enrolled persons. New rounds reinterviewing the same sample persons (or other appropriate respondents) begin every four months. An effort is made to interview the sampled person directly, but in case this person is unable to answer the questions, he or she is asked to designate a proxy respondent, usually a family member or close acquaintance. Interviews are conducted regardless of whether the sample person resides at home or in a long-term care facility. Persons in long-term care facilities are given a similar, but shortened, instrument. Respondents for the MCBS were sampled from the Medicare enrollment file to be representative of the Medicare population as a whole and by age group -- under 45, 45 to 64, 65 to 69, 70 to 74, 75 to 79, 80 to 84, and 85 and over. Because of interest in their special health care needs, the oldest old (85 and over) and the disabled (64 and under) are oversampled to permit more detailed analysis of these subpopulations. Sampled individuals in the community are interviewed using computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) survey instruments. These interviews yield a series of data over time for each sampled beneficiary on utilization of health services, medical care expenditures, health insurance coverage, sources of payment (public and private, including out-of-pocket payments), health status and functioning, and a variety of demographic and behavioral information (such as income, assets, living arrangements, family supports, quality of life, sex, race, education, military service, and marital status).

Most Recent Studies

Related Publications

Most Recent Publications

2010
Marks, Maria M.,  Yelverton, Christopher B.,  Williford, Phillip M.,  Teuschler, Hoa V.,  Coloe, Jacquelyn,  Chen, John,  Feldman, Steven R. A Medicare cost comparison of minor cutaneous procedures by surgical setting. Journal of Dermatological Treatment. 21, (2), 101-106.
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2009
Zuckerman, Stephen,  Shang, Baoping,  Waidmann, Timothy . Medicare savings programs: Analyzing options for expanding eligibility. Inquiry (Rochester): The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision and Financing. 46, (4), 391-404.
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2007
Cai, Liming,  Lubitz, James . Was there compression of disability for older Americans from 1992 to 2003?. Demography. 44, (3), 479-495.
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2007
National Center for Health Statistics . Health, United States, 2007. With Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans. Hyattsville, MD: United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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2005
Cornman, Jennifer C.,  Freedman, Vicki A.,  Agree, Emily M. Measurement of assistive devide use: Implications for estimates of device use and disability in late life. Gerontologist. 45, (3), 347-358.
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2005
Davey, Adam,  Femia, Elia E.,  Zarit, Steven H.,  Shea, Dennis G.,  Sundstrom, Gerdt,  Berg, Stig,  Smyer, Michael A.,  Savla, Jyoti . Life on the Edge: Patterns of Formal and Informal Help to Older Adults in the United States and Sweden. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. 60B, (5), S281-S288.
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2001
Porell, Frank W.,  Miltiades, Helen B. Access to care and functional status change among aged Medicare beneficiaries. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. 56B, (2), S69 -
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2000
Saliba, Debra,  Orlando, Maria,  Wenger, Neil S.,  Hays, Ron D.,  Rubenstein, Laurence Z. Identifying a Short Functional Disability Screen for Older Persons. Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. 55A, (12), M750-M756.
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2000
Shea, Dennis G.,  Russo, Patricia A.,  Smyer, Michael A. Use of mental health services by persons with a mental illness in nursing facilities. Journal of Aging and Health. 12, (4), 560-578.
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2000
Wittenburg, D.C.,  Stapleton, D.C.,  Scrivner, S.B. . How raising the age of eligibility for Social Security and Medicare might affect the disability insurance and Medicare programs. Social Security Bulletin. 63, (4), 17-26.
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