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Central Distributor SID: Description of Data Elements

DISP - Disposition of patient
Documentation Sections:
General Notes
Uniform Values
State Specific Notes
General Notes

DISP indicates the disposition of the patient at discharge (routine, transfer to another hospital, died, etc.). Patients that died outside of the hospital are coded as died (DISP =20).

The distinction between discharged to a skilled nursing facility (DISP = 3) and intermediate care facility (DISP = 4) may be defined differently for different data sources.

Uniform Values
VariableDescriptionValueValue Description
DISPDisposition of patient1Routine
2Short-term hospital
3Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)
4Intermediate Care Facility (ICF)
5Another type of facility
6Home Health Care (HHC)
7Against medical advice (AMA)
.BUnavailable from source (coded 1988-1997 data only)
State Specific Notes


In 1995, Arizona added the disposition "Home IV Provider." This is recoded to the HCUP discharge disposition Home Health Care (DISP = 6).


Beginning in 1995, California differentiates the discharge disposition to care within the same facility and discharges to another facility. Patients discharged to another level of care (e.g., long term care, residential care, and other care) were included in the uniform category "Another Type of Facility" (DISP = 5) regardless of whether the patient was physically transferred to another hospital or stayed in the same facility. Discharges to acute care were included in the uniform category "Short-Term Hospital" (DISP = 2).

Beginning in 1995, the source reports a separate category for discharges to "Prison/Jail." These discharges were included in the uniform category "Routine" (DISP = 1).


Beginning in 1997, Colorado reports two new categories for discharge disposition:

  • "Hospice-Medical Facility" which was recoded to the HCUP category "Another type of facility" (DISP=5), and
  • "Hospice-Home" which was recoded to the HCUP category "Home Health Care" (DISP=6).


Prior to 1997, the source category of "Discharged Home on IV Medications" was recoded to the HCUP discharge disposition of Home (DISP = 1). Beginning in 1997, this source category was recoded to Home Health Care (DISP = 6) to be consistent with the coding of this discharge disposition in other states.


Even though Hawaii allows a range of discharge dispositions to be coded (i.e., SNF, ICF, another facility, and home health care), most of the Hawaii discharges are coded with a discharge disposition of:

  • Routine (DISP = 1),
  • Transfer to an acute care facility (DISP = 2), or
  • Died (DISP = 20).


Internet Citation: HCUP Central Distributor SID Description of Data Elements - All States. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). August 2008. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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Last modified 8/12/08