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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.
ZIP3 - Patient ZIP Code, first 3 digits
Documentation Sections:
General Notes
Uniform Values
State Specific Notes
General Notes

The first three digits of the patient's ZIP Code (ZIP3) provides sufficient information to identify the location of a patient's residence within a broad region within a state. ZIP3 is retained as provided by the data source with the following exceptions:

  • Foreign ZIP Codes are recoded to indicate Canadian, Mexican, and other or unspecified foreign ZIP Codes.
  • Non-numeric ZIP Codes are identified (ZIP = "A").
  • The ZIP Code for homeless patients is set to "H".
Uniform Values
VariableDescriptionValueValue Description
ZIP3Patient ZIP Code, first 3 digitsnnnFirst 3 digits of patient ZIP Code
FOther or unspecified foreign
State Specific Notes


Due to an error in 2004 HCUP processing of the Washington SID, the ZIP3 Code for less than 100 foreign discharges was set to invalid ("A") instead of set to unspecified foreign ("F").


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