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MICRS Data Limitations and Caveats

Data from Medically Indigent Care Reporting System (MICRS) summary reports are validated based on rigorous desk audits by the State.  However, field audits to further verify the accuracy of county reported data have not occurred.

Counties do not report “patient-specific” data on county indigent patients to the State.  MICRS only provides “summary” patient, expenditure and socio-economic data for county indigent services.  In addition, counties are not required to report various types of programmatic information such as their scope of services, eligibility criteria, or methods of provider reimbursements.  Since programmatic arrangements can vary between counties, users should consider these types of variables when attempting to compare data between counties.

Counties are instructed to report all payments and costs associated with their provision of county indigent health care, but to omit indigent expenditures by providers, which are not reimbursed by the county.  Users should be aware that payments for providing county indigent health care may be less than the providers’ actual cost of care or billed amounts.

MICRS data do not contain information on medically indigent patients who did not have some portion of their care paid for by the county.

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