Lee A. Lillard, PhD; Melissa M. Farmer, MS
Lillard LA, Farmer MM. Linking Medicare and National Survey Data. Ann Intern Med. 1997;127:691-695. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-127-8_Part_2-199710151-00051
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1997;127(8_Part_2):691-695.
Administrative records from the Medicare Program of the Health Care Financing Administration provide a valuable source of information for research on medical and public policy issues. This administrative database contains information on utilization of covered medical services, diagnoses, episodes of illness, and Medicare-covered costs of health care. Combining such data with information from national surveys on health status, demographics, and socioeconomic attributes substantially expands the scope of potential research questions that can be addressed. This article discusses the benefits and difficulties of linking Medicare administrative data with survey data and provides brief summaries of five national surveys of elderly U.S. citizens. These surveys can be valuable resources for examining the health status and life experiences of the Medicare population.
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