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Nationwide Readmissions Database (NRD)

Nationwide Readmissions Database (NRD)

What is the NRD?

The Nationwide Readmissions Database (NRD) is part of the family of databases and software tools developed for the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). The NRD is a unique and powerful database designed to support various types of analyses of national readmission rates for all payers and the uninsured. The NRD includes discharges for patients with and without repeat hospital visits in a year and those who have died in the hospital. The criteria to determine the relationship between hospital admissions is left to the analyst using the NRD.

Advance Your Research

Apply more than 100 clinical and nonclinical variables to your research, including:
  • Primary and secondary diagnoses and procedures
  • Patient demographic characteristics
  • Hospital characteristics
  • Expected payer
  • Total charges
  • Discharge status
  • Length of stay
  • Severity and comorbidity measures
Address Critical Topics

The NRD can be used to study a variety of research topics, including:
  • Costs associated with readmissions
  • Reasons for readmissions
  • Impact of health policy changes
  • Readmissions by special populations, including the uninsured.
  • Variations in medical practice
  • Health care cost inflation
  • Quality of care and patient safety
Expand Your Analyses
    Use HCUP Tools. Free tools and software are available to estimate hospital costs, assess quality of care, and identify comorbidities. Most tools also can be used with other administrative health care databases.

    Make the Most of Your Research. HCUP Supplemental Files enhance applicable HCUP databases with additional data elements or analytically useful information. They cannot be used with other administrative databases.

    Explore NRD Data. HCUPnet ( is a free online query system that can provide you with instant access to health care statistics from HCUP databases, including the NRD.
Easy to Purchase

HCUP's Nationwide Databases are available for purchase from the online HCUP Central Distributor: The HCUP Central Distributor is the entity that accepts, processes, and fulfills applications for the purchase and use of HCUP databases.

The NRD is provided in ASCII format via secure digital download from the online HCUP Central Distributor. A statistical software package, such as SAS®, SPSS®, or Stata®, is required for analysis. Programs to load data into software packages are provided.

For a list of prices (including discounted student rates) and complete purchasing information, visit the HCUP-US website: This site also provides access to aggregate statistics from the NRD through the free online query resource known as HCUPnet, and it contains detailed information about the Data Use Agreement, data elements, and software tools.

The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP, pronounced "H-Cup") is a family of powerful health care databases, software tools, and products for advancing research. Sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), HCUP includes the largest all-payer, encounter-level collection of longitudinal health care data (inpatient, ambulatory surgery, and emergency department) in the United States, beginning in 1988.

HCUP is a Federal-State-Industry Partnership that brings together the data collection efforts of many organizations — such as State data organizations, hospital associations, private data organizations, and the Federal Government — to create a national information resource. HCUP would not be possible without the contributions of data collection Partners from across the nation.

For more information about HCUP, please visit

Internet Citation: Nationwide Readmissions Database (NRD). Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). May 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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Last modified 5/17/17