Medical Expenditure Panel Survey

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  • This database includes cancer outcomes.
  • This database is not linked to a cancer registry.


The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) is a nationally representative survey of the civilian noninstitutionalized population in the United States supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Data are collected over five rounds of in-person interviews that cover a consecutive two-year period. Each MEPS panel is a subsample of the prior year National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) respondents. MEPS consists of three components: 1) Household Component, 2) Medical Provider Component, and 3) Insurance Component. Household and medical provider data are available for public use on CD-ROMs, and/or through the MEPS website.

The Household Component asks about health, physical and mental impairments, health insurance, medical care utilization, expenditures, and does include information on medications. MEPS can be used to make estimates of prevalence of MEPS priority health conditions, including a cancer history starting in 2008.

The Healthcare Assessment Research Branch in NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences is collaborating with the American Cancer SocietyExternal Web Site Policy (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), LIVESTRONGExternal Web Site Policy, and the AHRQ to provide supplemental funding to the MEPS to improve the quality of data for estimating the cancer survivorship burden in the United States. Learn more about the MEPS Experiences with Cancer Survivorship Supplement.

Selected References

Cohen JW, Cohen SB, Banthin JS. The medical expenditure panel survey: a national information resource to support healthcare cost research and inform policy and practice. Med Care. 2009 Jul;47(7 Suppl 1):S44-50.

Cohen JW, Krauss NA. Spending and service use among people with the fifteen most costly medical conditions, 1997. Health Aff (Millwood). 2003 Mar-Apr;22(2):129-38.

Banthin JS, Miller GE. Trends in prescription drug expenditures by Medicaid enrollees. Med Care. 2006 May;44(5 Suppl):I27-35.

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