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AHCPR Makes Getting State Hospital Data Easier

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Press Release Date: September 27, 1999

John M. Eisenberg, M.D., administrator of the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), today announced that data from the State Inpatient Databases (SID) needed for health care research and market analysis may now be obtained from an AHCPR-sponsored central coordinator and distributor.

SID is a powerful set of hospital databases from 22 states that participate in AHCPR's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). The databases contain the universe of each state's inpatient discharge abstracts, translated into a uniform format to facilitate multi-state analyses. Overall, the databases contain more than half of all U.S. community hospital discharges, spanning diverse local markets and geographic regions.

The SID contain a core set of more than 100 patient-level clinical and non-clinical variables included in a hospital discharge abstract for all patients—regardless of payer, including persons covered by Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and the uninsured. In addition to the core set of uniform data elements, some of the databases are enhanced with additional variables, such as patient race.

"AHCPR applauds the data organizations in the states participating in SID and HCUP for making their statistics available to researchers and analysts, and we especially thank those organizations that stepped forward to lead the way in working with AHCPR to make their data centrally available. This is an example of the best in Federal-State-private sector collaboration," said Dr. Eisenberg. "Facilitating evidence-based decision-making by leaders in the private and public sectors is central to AHCPR's mission, and data collection is the first step."

The 11 states whose data may now be obtained from the centralized service are: California, Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington and Wisconsin.

SID is an important resource to researchers and policymakers investigating questions that require complete enumeration of hospitals and discharges within market areas or states, or across states. SID can be used to identify state or market-specific trends in inpatient utilization, access, charges and outcomes, as well as to investigate questions involving more than one State. The data files do not contain direct personal information about patients, nor characteristics that might lead to the identification of patients.

To request data or inquire about SID, contact the HCUP SID Coordinator, the MEDSTAT Group, phone: (805) 681-5876; fax: (805) 681-5888; E-mail: The AHCPR-contracted service can provide requesters with application kits for purchasing data from the 11 participating state data organizations, as well as information on obtaining files from the remaining 11 state data organizations in the SID project.

Note to Editors: For interviews of AHCPR staff about SID and other HCUP data products and services, contact Karen Migdail, AHCPR Division of Public Affairs (301) 427-1855.

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