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National Medical Expenditure Survey, 1987: Ambulatory Medical Visit Data [Public Use Tape 14.5]

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • National Medical Expenditure Survey Series
Publication Date
Free Keywords
ambulatory care; doctor visits; emergency services; employment; families; health care costs; health care services; health expenditures; health insurance; health services utilization; household composition; insurance coverage; medical care; payment methods; primary care
  • Abstract

    The 1987 NMES provides information on health expenditures by or on behalf of families and individuals, the financing of these expenditures, and each person's use of services. Public Use Tape 14.5 provides three data files containing information on the use of and expenditures for ambulatory medical services reported in the Household Survey. The Household Survey is one of the three major components of the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey (NMES). (The other two components are the Survey of American Indians and Alaska Natives [SAIAN] and the Institutional Population Component.) The Household Survey was fielded over four rounds of personal and telephone interviews at four-month intervals. Baseline data on household composition, employment, and insurance characteristics were updated each quarter, and information on all uses of and expenditures for health care services and sources of payment was obtained. An ambulatory visit is defined as a single contact with a medical provider for one or more services in either a hospital outpatient department or emergency room, a setting other than an inpatient hospital (such as a physician's office, a clinic, or a lab), a nursing home, or a person's home. The first file includes visits and telephone calls to physicians' offices (including HMOs and health departments) in settings other than a hospital or at home, and to providers of care (e.g., chiropractors and psychologists). The second file includes visits to hospital outpatient departments, and the third file covers visits to hospital emergency rooms, both regardless of provider type. A record on any of these data files represents a unique ambulatory visit. In addition, each file contains demographic information such as age, sex, and race, dates of visits, medical conditions associated with the visit, and variables such as types of procedures performed and the main reason for the visit.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Medical Provider Visits
    • DS2: Hospital Outpatient Visits
    • DS3: Emergency Room Visits
    • DS4: Technical and Programming Information and Data Dictionary
    • DS5: SAS Control Cards
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1987
  • Collection date: 1987
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Noninstitutionalized civilian population of the United States.
Sampled persons from the Household Survey who reported ambulatory medical visits in 1987 and who responded for their entire period of eligibility are included in this dataset. The Household Survey sample is a stratified multistage area probability design with a total sample of roughly 35,000 individuals in 14,000 households who completed all rounds of data collection. Oversampling of population subgroups of special policy interest included poor and low-income families, the elderly, the functionally impaired, and Black and Hispanic minorities.
Collection Mode
  • Records in these files can be linked to all NMES public use tapes from the Household Survey by using the person identifier (PIDX).

2006-01-18 File CB9881.VOL1.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 9881 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR09881.v1
  • Miller, T.R., Lestina, D.C.. Costs of poisoning in the United States and savings from poison control centers: a benefit-cost analysis. Annals of Emergency Medicine.29, (2), 239-245.1997.
    • ID: 10.1016/S0196-0644(97)70275-0 (DOI)
  • Susman, Jeffrey L., Helseth, Lynn D.. Reducing the complications of type II diabetes: a patient-centered approach. American Family Physician.56, (2), 471 -1997.
  • Ray, N.F., Thamer, M., Taylor, T., Fehrenbach, S.N., Ratner, R.. Hospitalization and expenditures for the treatment of general medical conditions among the U.S. diabetic population in 1991. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.81, (10), 3671-3679.1996.
    • ID: 10.1210/jc.81.10.3671 (DOI)
  • Tyrance, Patrick H., Himmelstein, David U., Woolhandler, Steffie. US emergency department costs: No emergency. American Journal of Public Health.86, (11), 1527-1531.1996.
    • ID: 10.2105/AJPH.86.11.1527 (DOI)
  • Baker, Laurence C., Baker, Linda Schuurman. Excess cost of emergency department visits for nonurgent care. Health Affairs.13, (5), 162 -1994.
    • ID: 10.1377/hlthaff.13.5.162 (DOI)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

United States Department of Health and Human Services. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (1993): National Medical Expenditure Survey, 1987: Ambulatory Medical Visit Data [Public Use Tape 14.5]. Archival Version. National Medical Expenditure Survey Series. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.