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Central Distributor SASD: Description of Data Elements

ECODEn - ICD-9-CM External Cause of Injury Code
Documentation Sections:
General Notes
Uniform Values
State Specific Notes
General Notes

In the HCUP databases, ICD-9-CM external cause of injury codes (E codes) are represented as 4- to 5-character alphanumeric codes with implicit decimals (i.e., decimals not included). Prior to data year 2014, the HCUP data elements for E Codes are length 5; in 2014, they are length 7. The first digit is the character E with all subsequent digits being numeric. The codes are left-justified in the HCUP databases so that prior to 2014 there is one space following a 4-character E code (three spaces in 2014). For example, the E code E916 would appear as 'E916 ' with a trailing blank in HCUP data and the code E917.1 would appear as 'E9171'.

The storage of E codes in the HCUP databases varies by data year:

  • Beginning in October 2015, International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) external cause of morbidity codes are stored in the data element I10_ECAUSEn.
  • From January 2003 through September 2015, any separately reported E codes and any ICD-9-CM E codes encountered in the diagnosis array are placed in a separate array specific to E codes (ECODEn).
  • Prior to 2003, ICD-9-CM E codes are included in the diagnosis array (DXn).

E codes are compared to a list of ICD-9-CM codes valid for the discharge date. Anticipation of or lags in response to official ICD-9-CM coding changes are permitted for discharges occurring within a window of time around the official ICD-9-CM coding changes (usually October 1). In the data prior to 1998, a six months window (three months before and three months after) is allowed. Beginning in the 1998 data, a year window (six months before and six months after) is allowed. Invalid and inconsistent E codes are masked directly. Clinical Classifications Software (CCS) data elements are coded with respect to the E code.

  Invalid Diagnosis Inconsistent Code
The value of ECODEn "invl" "incn"
E_CCSn Set to invalid (.A). Set to inconsistent (.C)
Uniform Values
VariableDescriptionValueValue Description
ECODEnICD-9-CM External Cause of Injury CodeE codeannnn
InvlInvalid E code
State Specific Notes


For 2009, the regulations changed requiring hospitals to report all E-codes, including all medical misadventures. The number of records decreased on the 2009 AS file compared to the 2008 AS file (AS was down 16.7%). The reason for the drop in the AS number to do with a licensing issue that arose in California as a result of the Capen vs. Shewry decision in 2007. This exempted doctor-owned ambulatory surgery clinics from the need to obtain a facility license from the State (CA Department of Health, Licensing and Certification unit). Since the OSHPD reporting requirement is tied to licensure through CDPH, a great number of facilities (ASCs) have been dropping from our reporting rolls. Also a few general acute care hospitals have closed or gone into suspense.


Starting in 2003, the Georgia Hospital Association requires that any ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes indicating medical misadventures (E870-E879) and adverse reactions (E940-E949) be excluded from the list of diagnosis codes on the record.

New Jersey

Values are 100% missing with ECODE5 and E_CCS5 in the 2005 AS and ED files. These variables were created during the data processing to maintain consistency in the numbers of E-codes between AS and ED files.

South Carolina

South Carolina does not provide to HCUP E-codes in the range E870-E876 (misadventures and abnormal reactions).


Internet Citation: HCUP Central Distributor SASD Description of Data Elements - All States. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). May 2024. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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Last modified 5/22/24