Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Cool Research Link: Customizing MEPS

One of the frustrations of demographic research is the lack of demographic segmentation detailed enough to allow for meaningful analysis. This is especially true with health statistics, which too often combine age groups into categories so broad it is almost impossible to tease out the trends. My pet peeve with health statistics is the use of the 45-to-64 age group. Just at the ages when chronic conditions become increasingly common if not the norm, those trends are obscured by the use of the overly-broad age group. Someone must have read my mind. The federal government's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) now allows users to customize its tables. Specifically, you can customize age breaks down to the single-year-of-age level for a much closer examination of how health care consumption and spending change as people age. Check out this welcome innovation here.

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