Reconciling medical expenditure estimates from the MEPS and the NHA, 1996

Health Care Financ Rev. 2001 Fall;23(1):161-78.


This article compares 1996 estimates of national medical care expenditures from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and the National Health Accounts (NHA). The MEPS estimate for total expenditures in 1996 was $548 billion; whereas, the NHA estimate for personal health care (PHC) in 1996 was $912 billion. Much of this apparent difference, however, arises from differences in scope between MEPS and NHA--rather than from differences in estimates for comparably-defined expenditures. We adjusted the NHA for differences in included populations and types of services covered, finding a much smaller difference between MEPS and a comparably-defined NHA.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Family Characteristics
  • Financing, Personal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Care Surveys*
  • Health Expenditures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / economics
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Medicare / economics
  • Medicare / statistics & numerical data
  • Private Sector
  • Reimbursement Mechanisms / classification