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American Hospital Association Linkage Files
The HCUP American Hospital Association Linkage Files are hospital-level files designed to supplement the data elements in the SID, SASD, and SEDD databases. These files are created by AHRQ through a Federal-State-Industry partnership.
 
American Hospital Association Linkage Files

The HCUP American Hospital Association (AHA) Linkage Files are hospital-level files designed to supplement the data elements in the SID, SASD, and SEDD databases. They 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 the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. HCUP databases, tools, and software inform decision making at the national, State, and community levels.

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The HCUP AHA Linkage Files are hospital-level files that contain a small number of data elements that allow researchers to supplement the HCUP SID, SASD, and SEDD with information from the AHA Annual Survey Databases (Health Forum, LLC 2012). Users can merge the data elements of interest from the AHA Annual Survey Databases to the HCUP AHA Linkage Files and, subsequently, to the HCUP SID, SASD, and SEDD by using the encrypted hospital identification number (HOSPID).

The HCUP AHA Linkage Files are designed to be used exclusively with the HCUP SID, SASD, and SEDD. These files are unique by state and year.
 
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The HCUP AHA Linkage Files are used to supplement the HCUP SID, SASD, and SEDD with hospital-level information from the AHA Annual Survey Databases. This allows for richer empirical analysis especially where hospital characteristics may be important factors. The HCUP AHA Linkage files include the hospital identifier used on the AHA Annual Survey Databases and the HCUP hospital identifier for those HCUP Partner States that release hospital identifiers.
 

The HCUP AHA Linkage Files are available for download from HCUP-US for the HCUP Central Distributor SID, SASD, and SEDD beginning with 2006 data. The HCUP AHA Linkage Files prior to 2006 were included on the data CD-ROMs provided with purchase. Please note that not all HCUP Partner States release hospital identifiers.
 
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The AHA Linkage Files can be run on desktop computers with a CD-ROM reader, and are available in ASCII format. The files must be merged with both the AHA Annual Survey Databases and the HCUP SID, SASD, or SEDD. A statistical software package such as SAS or SPSS is required to use the HCUP SID, SASD, and SEDD for analytic purposes.
 

There is no User Guide specific to the HCUP AHA Linkage Files. Information is available in the document Introduction to the SID (or SASD and SEDD, as appropriate) available on HCUP-US and printed with the purchased HCUP data files.

The HCUP AHA Linkage file is a hospital-level file with one observation per hospital or facility. To combine HCUP discharge-level files with the AHA Linkage file, merge the files by the hospital identifier provided by the data source (DSHOSPID), but be careful of the different levels of aggregation. For example, the HCUP Core file may contain 5,000 discharges for DSHOSPID "A", but the AHA Linkage file contains only 1 record for DSHOSPID "A".
 
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The HCUP AHA Linkage Files for the SID, SASD, and SEDD beginning in 2006 are available from this website. These files are free of charge. However, agreement to the following Terms and Conditions is required.
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Internet Citation: American Hospital Association Linkage Files. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). January 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/db/state/ahalinkage/aha_linkage.jsp.
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Last modified 1/15/13