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AHRQ releases 1998 and 1999 State inpatient and ambulatory surgery databases

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has announced the availability of 1998 and 1999 data from the State Inpatient Databases (SID) and State Ambulatory Surgery Databases (SASD). The SID and SASD are powerful health care research and policy analysis tools. The SID contain information for every inpatient hospitalization in each participating State, while the SASD capture information on surgeries performed at hospital-affiliated ambulatory surgery sites. Some SASD include records from free-standing surgery centers as well. In addition, data from the SID and SASD have been translated into a uniform format to facilitate multi-State analysis.

Both data sets contain a core set of clinical and nonclinical information that includes principal and secondary diagnoses and procedures, patient demographics, total charges, length of stay, discharge status, and patients' expected payment source, such as Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, and whether they were uninsured. SID and SASD also contain hospital identifiers that permit linkages to hospital-level and county-level databases. The data files do not contain direct personal information about patients or characteristics that might lead to the identification of patients.

These research resources are part of a family of databases and software tools developed as part of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), a Federal-State-industry partnership sponsored by AHRQ for building a standardized multi-State data system.

The first seven States to make their 1998 and 1999 SID data available for purchase through the AHRQ-sponsored HCUP Central Distributor are Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, New York, Oregon, and Wisconsin. The first four States to make their 1998 and 1999 SASD data available for purchase through the same source are Colorado, Maryland, New York, and Wisconsin. Additional States are expected to make their SID and SASD files available through the HCUP Central Distributor by September 30, 2001. As soon as their data become available, we will announce the availability on the AHRQ Web site at

For more information about SID and SASD, including prices, contact the HCUP Central Distributor, Social and Scientific Systems, Inc., 7101 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1300, Bethesda, MD 20814-4805 (toll-free telephone: (866) 556-4287; fax: (301) 986-8051; E-mail:

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