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AHRQ Centralizes Access to 1997 State Inpatient Data

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Press Release Date: Wednesday, April 12, 2000

The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced today that 1997 data files from 13 States participating in AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) State Inpatient Databases (SID) partnership are now centrally available from AHRQ. The 13 States are Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington and Wisconsin.

Each SID file contains information for every hospitalization in the corresponding State, translated into a uniform format to facilitate multi-state comparisons and analyses. More than 100 patient-level clinical and non-clinical variables are included on the files, such as principal and secondary diagnoses, principal and secondary procedures, expected payer (including Medicare, Medicaid, private and self-pay), and discharge status. Some SID are enhanced with additional variables, such as the race of the patient or birth weight of newborns.

"Making data more accessible to researchers is an AHRQ priority," said John M. Eisenberg, M.D., Director of the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). "Much of what we know about health care delivery could not have been accomplished without researchers' access to timely, sound and reliable databases. By centralizing the availability of SID files, AHRQ is enhancing this access."

SID are used in addressing a broad array of research questions, spanning access, quality and cost issues, and they are an important resource for researchers and policy analysts investigating questions requiring complete enumeration of hospital discharges within market areas or States, or across States. Data files from 1995 and 1996 are also centrally available. The data files do not contain direct personal information about patients nor characteristics that might lead to the identification of patients.

Contact the HCUP Central Distributor, The MEDSTAT Group (telephone: 805-681-5876; fax: 805-681-5888) to purchase data files from the 13 States participating in the AHRQ-sponsored centralized service. HCUP's Central Distributor should also be contacted to obtain information about acquiring data from the 9 other HCUP SID (Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Utah). These States are not available from the Central Distributor.

For more information, please contact Bob Isquith at (301) 427-1539 (

If you would like to receive AHRQ'S press releases by E-mail, please contact Karen Migdail at or (301) 427-1855.

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