files and analytical reports that have been used in health services research to estimate life expectancy and mortality rates for specific diseases. See for more information.

The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results–Continuous Medicare History Sample File (SEER-CMHSF) has annual Medicare spending for 5 percent of the Medicare population and includes data on medical expenses for inpatient hospital stays, outpatient services, skilled nursing facility stays, home health agency charges, and physician services. The linked SEER-CMHSF contains all Medicare claims for the cancer patients included in the SEER registries. These data are available from 1976 to 1997 and then 2001 and 2002. These data can be used to determine the cost and health impact of cancer care by service category. The SEER-CMHSF contains roughly 70,000 cancer patients per year and 400,000 noncancer control individuals per year.

The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results–Medicare Linked Database (SEER-Medicare) reflects the linkage of two large population-based sources of data that provide detailed information about Medicare beneficiaries with cancer. Over a dozen state and regional registries across the United States participate in the SEER program by reporting all newly diagnosed cases of cancer and tracking these individuals until their deaths. Beginning in 1975, data from 9 registries are available, covering approximately 10 percent of the U.S. population. From 2000 onward, 17 registries report data covering 26 percent of the population. The information collected by the program includes detailed clinical data and the patients’ demographic characteristics. The data provide information on incidence, costs, and health outcomes of cancer patients. The SEER-Medicare database provides a linkage between the SEER cancer registries and Medicare enrollment and claims files. See for more information.

The World Health Survey (WHS) was administered in 2002-2003 to monitor whether health systems were achieving their desired goals. The WHS was the first major survey program designed to address the issue of cross-population comparability in measuring health. Samples were randomly selected (for ages older than 18 years) and number between 1,000 and 10,000 individuals in each of 70 participating countries. See for results and analysis.

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