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Central Distributor SASD: Description of Data Elements

HISPANIC - Hispanic ethnicity (uniform)
Documentation Sections:
General Notes
Uniform Values
State Specific Notes
General Notes

HCUP has four data elements related to race and ethnicity:

  • Original data provided by the data source (HCUP Partner organizations):
    • RACE_X contains the original data values for race. For some data sources, there may be a value for RACE_X that is specific to Hispanic ethnicity.
    • HISPANIC_X contains the original data values for ethnicity, if provided. This data element became available in data year 1998.
  • HCUP uniform variables:
    • RACE contains a uniform coding for race and ethnicity.
      • If the data source supplied information on race and ethnicity as separate data elements (RACE_X and HISPANIC_X, respectively), ethnicity takes precedence over race in setting the HCUP uniform values. For example, a patient who is Hispanic and Black is assigned to the category of Hispanic (RACE=3 based on information included in HISPANIC_X).
      • If information on ethnicity is not provided as a separate data element and, instead, provided as a separate value for RACE_X, then the category of Hispanic (RACE=3) is based on the information in RACE_X.
    • HISPANIC contains a uniform coding for race and ethnicity in which Hispanic patients are assigned to a category that includes information on the race. Using the same example of a patient who is Hispanic and Black, HISPANIC is assigned to the category of Black Hispanic (HISPANIC=2). It should be noted that the HISPANIC data element does not retain information on the race of non-Hispanic patients. This data element became available in data year 2015.

Not all HCUP Partner organizations provide information on race and ethnicity. The availability of this information may differ by year. Additionally, the reporting of information on race and ethnicity can vary by hospital. For additional information, refer to the HCUP data element, RACE_PCT_MISS_HOSP, which identifies the percentage of hospital discharges where race and ethnicity information is missing or invalid. This data element is available beginning data year 2021.

Uniform Values
VariableDescriptionValueValue Description
HISPANICHispanic ethnicity (uniform)0Not Hispanic
1Hispanic, White
2Hispanic, Black
3Hispanic, Other race
4Hispanic, Unspecified race
State Specific Notes


Due to an error in processing the 2015 data file, all non-Hispanic patients were coded to invalid (.A) instead of Not Hispanic (value 0).


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