Provider Component (MPC), and information is collected on dates of visit, diagnosis and procedure codes, charges, and payments. The Pharmacy Component (PC), a subcomponent of the MPC, collects drug detail information, including National Drug Code (NDC) and medicine names, as well as date(s) prescriptions are filled, sources, and amounts of payment (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2012).

O’Brien (2011) discussed the Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), which collects a multitude of information on houses, appliances, and home energy usage. It collects utility records from energy suppliers in lieu of self-reports from respondents. As part of this process, the interviewer asks household respondents to name their energy suppliers and to produce a bill from each supplier. The interviewer uses a portable scanner to scan in the bills. The Energy Information Agency then contacts the energy suppliers to obtain records for the sampled household unit for the previous year (U.S. Department of Energy, 2011)

Schenker and Parsons (2011) discussed combining data from multiple surveys to improve quality and reduce burden within the survey program of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). They provided four examples:

  • Combining information from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the National Nursing Home Survey to obtain more comprehensive estimates of the prevalence of chronic conditions for the elderly;
  • Using information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to improve analyses of self-reported data on the NHIS;
  • Combining information on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System with the NHIS to enhance small-area estimation; and
  • Creating links between various NCHS surveys and administrative data sources such as air quality data available from the Environmental Protection Agency, death certificate data from the National Death Index, Medicare enrollment and claims data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and benefit history data from the Social Security Administration.

Session 4: Designs That Effectively Mix Global and Detail Information to Reduce Burden and Measurement Error

This session highlighted surveys that, while collecting large quantities of information, do so using design strategies and questionnaire modules that avoid asking every respondent for all details on each contact.

Aune (2011) discussed the Agricultural Resource Management Survey,



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