HCUP e-News: the electronic newsletter of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project

Summer 2013
Issue #35


News and Announcements: Notable news from HCUP
Databases and Products: New database and product releases
Publication Spotlights: Recent works incorporating HCUP data and tools
HCUP Q&A: Answers to your HCUP questions
HCUP Events: Upcoming HCUP conferences and meetings

Missed the last e-News? Read it on the HCUP-US Website.

News and Announcements

2011 NIS Now Available!

The 2011 Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) has been released. The NIS is the largest inpatient care database in the U.S. and includes all patients, regardless of payer covering Medicare, Medicaid, privately insured, and uninsured patients.

The NIS is a powerful database that contains data from approximately 8 million hospital stays, drawn from more than 1,000 community hospitals in 47 states. NIS data can be weighted to produce national estimates, allowing researchers and policy makers to identify, track, and analyze national trends in healthcare utilization, access, charges, quality, and outcomes.

The 2011 NIS is available for purchase through the HCUP Central Distributor and select statistics can be accessed via HCUPnet.

Announcing HCUP's 2012 Outstanding Articles of the Year

Two studies will receive the HCUP Outstanding Article of the Year Award at AcademyHealth's Annual Research Meeting on June 24th. The Award honors articles published in peer-reviewed journals in 2012 that used HCUP data to explore and address healthcare research topics and issues.

Abstracts for this year's winning articles are featured below in the section Publications Using HCUP Data. Congratulations to the recipients!

HCUP Partner Organization's Poster a Conference Finalist!

A poster created by the New Mexico Department of Health was announced as a conference finalist at the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) 2013 Annual Conference. Entitled Concordance of New Mexico race/ethnicity data between Vital Records Death Data and Hospital Inpatient Discharge Data, the poster (authored by Nicole Katz, Ann Worthingon and Noell Stone) described efforts to increase the accuracy of race and ethnicity data collected in New Mexico's hospitals. The New Mexico Department of Health received one of the Enhanced State Data Grants from AHRQ to improve their race and ethnicity data collection. Additional information about the AHRQ-funded grants to improve race-ethnicity data in state hospital discharge data was presented at the CSTE meeting in a presentation entitled, "Statewide initiatives to improve race ethnicity and language data: Three unique approaches."

Congratulations to our New Mexico HCUP State Partner for their work in this effort!

HCUPnet Upgrades Provide New Research Options

Recent updates to HCUPnet's functionality now allow users to obtain population rates by year (including trends) and view results specific to non-neonatal, non-maternal discharges or operating room procedures. Cost information is also now available for select 2011 State-level data pathways. For additional information, contact HCUP User Support.

Databases and Products

Recently Released: Additional 2011 State Databases

Since March 2013, the following 2011 State databases have been released:

In addition, the 2011 Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) has been released.

Complete listings of available databases by year can be found in the SID/SASD/SEDD Application Kit (beginning on page 6). Databases can be purchased through the HCUP Central Distributor, and aggregated statistics for selected states can be accessed via HCUPnet.

For database purchasing questions, please contact the HCUP Central Distributor.

Publication Spotlights

New HCUP Statistical Briefs Posted on HCUP-US

Since March 2013, the following HCUP Statistical Briefs have been released:

These and other Statistical Briefs can be found on the HCUP-US Website.

HCUP Methods Series Report

The HCUP Methods Series Report Population Denominator Data for use with HCUP Databases (Updated with 2012 Population data) was released in March 2013. This report identifies relevant sources of population data that can be used with HCUP databases to calculate rates of hospital care events per population. This compilation includes data sources that provide nationwide population counts on people, and not hospitals, physicians, or local resources.

These and other HCUP Reports can be found on the HCUP-US Website.

Publications Using HCUP Data

Wright JD, Herzog TJ, Siddiq Z, Arend R, Neugut AI, Burke WM, Lewin SN, Ananth CV, Hershman DL. Failure to rescue as a source of variation in hospital mortality for ovarian cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2012 Nov 10;30(32):3976-82.

Recognized as an HCUP Outstanding Article of the Year, this study uses the 1988-2009 Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) to investigate the impact of complications, failure to rescue from complications, and hospital volume-based mortality on ovarian cancer. An article abstract is available via Pubmed.

Bazzoli GJ, Lee W, Hsieh HM, Mobley LR. The effects of safety net hospital closures and conversions on patient travel distance to hospital services. Health Serv Res. 2012 Feb;47(1 Pt 1):129-50.

Recognized as an HCUP Outstanding Article of the Year, this study uses the Arizona, California, Florida, and Wisconsin State Inpatient Databases (SID) ranging from 1990 to 2003 to examine the effects of safety net hospital closures and for-profit conversions on uninsured, Medicaid, and racial/ethnic minorities. An article abstract is available via Pubmed.

To read additional recently-published articles featuring HCUP data, please visit the Research Spotlights page on the HCUP-US Website.


Question: Is it possible to track readmissions in the HCUP national-level databases?


You cannot track readmissions using the HCUP nationwide databases (i.e., the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), Kids' Inpatient Database (KID), or Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS)). However, national readmission statistics are available on HCUPnet by Diagnosis Related group (DRG), Major Diagnostic Category (MDC), principal diagnosis, and procedures. Select the Readmissions Summary Tables and Quick Statistics on Readmissions pathways.

Readmissions can be tracked in some of HCUP's State-level databases. The HCUP Supplemental Variables for Revisit Analyses facilitates analyses that track patients across time and hospital settings in the State Inpatient Databases (SID), State Ambulatory Surgery Databases (SASD), and State Emergency Department Databases (SEDD) in select States starting in 2003. Additional information on readmission analyses is available in two HCUP Methods Series Reports: Overview of Key Readmissions Measures and Methods and Methodological Issues when Studying Readmissions and Revisits using Hospital Administrative Data.

For other HCUP questions, please contact HCUP User Support.

HCUP Events

For a complete list of HCUP presentations and events, visit the HCUP Events Calendar.

The HCUP e-News is available online at the HCUP-US Website and distributed via the HCUP Mailing List.

For more information and questions regarding the HCUP e-News, please email hcup@ahrq.gov