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Central Distributor SASD: Description of Data Elements

PL_NHCS2006 - Patient Location: National Center for Health Statistics (NHCS2006)
Documentation Sections:
General Notes
Uniform Values
State Specific Notes
General Notes

Prior to 2007, the HCUP data element name for this variable was misspelled PL_NHCS2006. Beginning with the 2007 data, the data element is accurately named PL_NCHS2006.

NCHS2006 is a simplified, six-category, county-level scheme developed by the National Center for Health Statistics for use in studying the association between urbanization and health. This scheme is unique in emphasizing differences within metropolitan areas.

The NCHS scheme combines aspects of the 2003 versions of the Rural-Urban Continuum Codes (RUCC) and the Urban Influence Codes (UIC). The metropolitan counties are subdivided into three categories by population. The over one million group is further subdivided into Central and Fringe categories as defined by OMB standards. Non-metropolitan counties are divided simply into micropolitan and non-core categories.

Additional information about the UIC classification scheme is available on the Internet at

Uniform Values
VariableDescriptionValueValue Description
PL_NHCS2006Patient Location: National Center for Health Statistics (NHCS2006) 1"Central" counties of metro areas of >=1 million population
2"Fringe" counties of metro areas of >=1 million population
3Counties in metro areas of 250,000-999,999 population
4Counties in metro areas of 50,000-249,999 population
5Micropolitan counties
6Non-core counties
State Specific Notes



Internet Citation: HCUP Central Distributor SASD Description of Data Elements - All States. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). April 2008. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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Last modified 4/11/08