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National Health Interview Survey and Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Linkage Files

The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) each release annual files. Beginning with the 1995 NHIS and the 1996 MEPS, these files can be linked. The NHIS/MEPS linkage files allow users to link persons in the MEPS public use files to the records of the same persons in the previous NHIS public use files.

Please note that each year's MEPS file contains only a subset of persons from the previous NHIS core person file. Also note that many of the NHIS files, particularly the sample adult file, will only match to a subset of the MEPS file and the resulting matched sample sizes may be quite small. The MEPS sample design variables (for variance estimation) and weights must be used for any analysis using a linked NHIS/MEPS file. In addition, the weights provided in the MEPS files would have to be adjusted to account for those persons who are in the MEPS files, but are not in the NHIS files.

AHRQ will provide access and user support services for the NHIS/MEPS linkage files.

Please use the contact information above for all technical questions for the NHIS/MEPS linkage files.