National Medical Expenditure Survey Series

Investigator(s): National Center for Health Services Research and Health Care Technology Assessment

The National Medical Expenditure Survey (NMES) series provides information on health expenditures by or on behalf of families and individuals, the financing of these expenditures, and each person's use of services. The first set of surveys, the NATIONAL MEDICAL CARE EXPENDITURE SURVEY (NMCES), was carried out in 1977 by the National Center for Health Services Research (now called the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research). In 1980 the NATIONAL MEDICAL CARE UTILIZATION AND EXPENDITURE SURVEY, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics and the Health Care Financing Administration, significantly extended the series. The 1987 NMES, conducted by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, gathered still more detailed information on health expenditures through the use of several component surveys. The first is a Household Survey based on a national probability sample of the civilian noninstitutionalized population of the United States. The second component of the 1987 NMES, the Institutional Population Component, is a survey of nursing/personal care homes and facilities for the mentally retarded and residents admitted to those facilities. The third component is the Survey of American Indians and Alaska Natives (SAIAN), which sampled American Indians and Alaska Natives, living on or near federal reservations, who were eligible to receive care from the Indian Health Service. Data from the interview rounds and special topic surveys are released as separate public use tape collections. Records in the NMES Household, Institutional, and SAIAN components can be linked with records in other surveys from the same component.