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
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
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 2020.