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AGENCY FOR HEALTH CARE POLICY AND RESEARCH RELEASES COMPUTER TAPE TO ENABLE USERS TO UNDERSTAND HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE

AGENCY FOR HEALTH CARE POLICY AND RESEARCH RELEASES COMPUTER TAPE
       TO ENABLE USERS TO UNDERSTAND HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE
    WASHINGTON, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- A new computer tape released by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research enables users to understand how health insurance coverage, employment, age, income and other factors affect use of health services in the United States.
    The tape can answer questions such as:  Do poor or uninsured Americans use emergency rooms more than others?  Do hospitals admit them less often?  Do they buy fewer prescription medicines?
    Developed for use by policy analysts, health care researchers, insurers and others, the tape contains key data from the household interview portion of the National Medical Expenditure Survey.  The agency conducted the survey in 1987 and 1988 to provide a comprehensive picture of how Americans, and especially the poor, the elderly and minorities use and pay for health services.
    Under the household portion of the NMES survey, more than 38,000 people in 15,000 sample households across the nation were interviewed quarterly about the services they used, the cost of those services, their medical care coverage, health status, age, disability level and other sociodemographic factors.
    The agency has released 11 public use NMES tapes; the new tape is the first to contain year-round data on health care use, insurance and employment status.
    "This information is critical to understanding the forces affecting the demand for and access to health care in the United States today," said AHCPR Administrator J. Jarrett Clinton, M.D.
    According to Clinton, the tape is especially useful for making national or regional estimates.  Users can assess how changes in health policies would affect people in different age, employment and income and insurance categories.  By linking the data to information in previously released NMES computer tapes, users can estimate different groups' health status, functional limitations and access to care.
    Health services use data included in the new tape covers hospital stays; emergency room visits; use of outpatient clinics; visits to office physicians, dentists and other providers; and use of home health services, prescribed medicines and medical equipment.
    "NMES Public Use Tape 13:  Household Survey, Population Characteristics and Utilization Data for 1987" (PB92-500057, Tape and Documentation; PB92-100189, Documentation only), is sold by the National Technical Information Service (Springfield, Va. 22161; telephone 703-487-4650).  The tape, which is in the EBCDIC data file format, includes programming statements for creating an SAS data set and format library.
    -0-                    11/12/91
    /CONTACT:  Bob Isquith of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, 301-443-4100/ CO:  Agency for Health Care Policy and Research ST:  District of Columbia IN:  HEA SU:  PDT SB -- DC007 -- 3324 11/12/91 09:26 EST
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Nov 12, 1991
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