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Requirements for Publishing Results with HCUP Data

Before you publish results based on any HCUP database, confirm that the manuscript follows the requirements of the HCUP Data Use Agreement (DUA). For publications using the NIS, KID, NASS, NEDS, and/or NRD, refer to the HCUP DUA for Nationwide Databases; for publications using the SID, SASD, and/or SEDD, refer to the HCUP DUA for State Databases. Both DUAs are available on the DUA Training page.

yellow star If publishing with the NIS, use the Checklist for Working With the NIS to review common errors and pitfalls found in publications using the NIS. Many of the principles and resources also apply to other HCUP databases.

Privacy Protections

Verify the following privacy protections:
  • You have not identified individual persons in your publication, either directly or indirectly.
  • You have not identified hospitals in your publication. All aggregate statistical reporting has at least two hospitals in any individual cell.
  • You have avoided publication of cell sizes less than or equal to 10.
HCUP Citations

The HCUP DUAs also require citation of HCUP and the specific databases:
  • Verify that the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) and the HCUP database(s) are correctly cited in the abstract and manuscript. Review citation examples for specific details.
Acknowledgement of HCUP Data Partners

  • HCUP Nationwide databases (NIS, KID, NASS, NEDS, and NRD)
    • If space allows in the manuscript, please acknowledge all of the HCUP Data Partners that contribute to HCUP. A current list of the HCUP Data Partners is provided (Word file, 30 KB; PDF file, 13 KB; HTML). As an alternative, include in the manuscript a link to the HCUP-US web page that contains the list of State organizations (
  • HCUP State databases (SID, SASD, and SEDD)
    • At a minimum, reference the State name(s) and the HCUP databases used. If space allows in the manuscript, please acknowledge the HCUP Data Partner(s) by name. A list of HCUP Data Partners for reference in publications is provided (Word file, 30 KB; PDF file, 13 KB; HTML).
There are additional requirements for publications authored by AHRQ staff.

If you have questions, please contact HCUP User Support:
Toll free: 1-866-290-HCUP

Internet Citation: Publishing with HCUP Data. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). June 2020. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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Last modified 6/30/20