Accuracy of Household Reported Medical Conditions: Findings from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS)
Karen Beauregard, AHRQ
Joel Cohen, AHRQ
Anne Elixhauser, AHRQ
*Steven R. Machlin, AHRQ
Claudia Steiner, AHRQ
Keywords: MEPS, conditions, measurement error
The MEPS Medical Provider Component (MPC) provides an opportunity to assess the quality of data reported on medical conditions in a household survey [MEPS Household Component (HC)]. While the primary purpose of the MPC is to collect medical expenditure data to improve the completeness and accuracy of HC expense information, data are also collected on medical conditions treated. These data will often be more accurate and complete than the HC data because they reflect medical diagnoses by health care providers rather than reports from survey respondents. Using matched HC-MPC data, we assess the extent to which medical conditions reported in the HC are corroborated by data reported in the MPC for broad groupings of conditions. The results will help inform whether and the extent to which there may be misclassification bias in analyses that rely on household reported medical condition data.