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Central Distributor SID: Description of Data Elements
This section describes how HCUP data elements are coded, restrictions on their use, their uniform values, and State-specific coding practices.
 
PSTCO2 - Patient state/county FIPS code, possibly derived from ZIP Code
 
Documentation Sections:
General Notes
Uniform Values
State Specific Notes
General Notes
 

PSTCO2 (Patient State and County 2) provides the most complete enumeration of patient State and county FIPS codes available on this file. As such, it is the variable that should be used to link other county-based data to the HCUP discharge files. PSTCO2 is created in one of two ways:

  • If the Partner organization provides information on the Patient State/county, it is retained in two HCUP data elements: PSTCO with the original information and PSTCO2 with the original and augmented information. Any records with a missing or invalid county code in PSTCO have the county code in PSTCO2 assigned from the patient's ZIP Code, if it is available. Some counties may contain more than one ZIP Code, and in these cases the county located at the centroid of the ZIP Code area is used for the county assignment.
  • If the Partner organization does not provide information on Patient State/county, PSTCO2 is assigned solely from the patient's ZIP Code, if it is available.

PSTCO2 contains unmodified FIPS county codes. Unmodified FIPS county codes include unique values for independent cities, such as Baltimore City and St. Louis City. In addition, there are FIPS codes for outlying areas of the United States and freely associated States (i.e., American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Puerto Rico, U.S. minor outlying islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

 
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Uniform Values
 
VariableDescriptionValueValue Description
PSTCO2Patient state/county FIPS code, possibly derived from ZIP CodennnnnState/county FIPS code
.Missing
.AInvalid
.CInconsistent
 
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State Specific Notes

Georgia

From 2007 to 2010, PSTCO and PSTCO2 were incorrectly calculated for out-of-state patients. As a result, the state-specific portion of PSTCO and PSTCO2 (the first two characters) was set to "13" indicating Georgia instead of the correct state FIPS code. The county-specific portion of PSTCO and PSTCO2 (the last three characters) retained the out-of-state county code. In rare instances, PSTATE may also be affected and have the state identified as GA when the patient was out-of-state.



North Carolina

From 2007 to 2009, PSTCO and PSTCO2 were incorrectly calculated for out-of-state patients. As a result, the state-specific portion of PSTCO and PSTCO2 (the first two characters) was set to "37" indicating North Carolina instead of the correct state FIPS code. The county-specific portion of PSTCO and PSTCO2 (the last three characters) retained the out-of-state county code. In rare instances, PSTATE may also be affected and have the state identified as NC when the patient was out-of-state.



Vermont

Prior to 2005 data, an error during HCUP processing mistakenly recoded the township value (TOWN = "2400" which is Massachusetts all counties) to a New Hampshire county (value 33007) for patient's county (PSTCO). For these records with TOWN = "2400", PSTCO should have been set to missing.


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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. www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/db/vars/siddistnote.jsp?var=pstco2.
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Last modified 8/12/08