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

Summer 2022
Issue #71


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 HCUP e-News? Read it on the HCUP-US website.

News and Announcements

Fast Stats Data Update

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released new information in the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Fast Stats.

For additional information, please refer to the Fast Stats Frequently Asked Questions page or contact HCUP User Support

New HCUP Findings-At-A-Glance Report

A new data brief from AHRQ has been added to HCUP Findings-At-A-Glance, Emergency Department Visits for Diagnoses Directly Indicating Heat Exposure: Variation Across Counties in the United States, 2016�2020. HCUP Findings-At-A-Glance reports provide a focused look at different topics across a broad range of health policy issues related to hospital use and costs. This report presents county- and State-level population rates of emergency department visits with a diagnosis directly indicating heat exposure. Diagnoses include those for heat-related syncope, cramps, exhaustion, fatigue, and edema, in addition to effects of heat and light and exposure to excessive natural heat and sunlight.

The following figure displays the county-level population rates of emergency department visits with a diagnosis directly indicating heat exposure per 100,000 population for the years 2016�2019 combined. A map of the United States shows rates of heat exposure by county and State. Higher levels are observed in southern States compared with northern States. Data are unavailable for Alabama, Delaware, Idaho, Louisiana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

Figure 1: Emergency Department Visits with a Diagnosis Directly Indicating Heat Exposure per 
	100,000 Population, 2016-2019 details higher rates of ED visits in southern and western regions of 
	the United States.

Some Findings-At-A-Glance reports will be a one-time examination of a specific topic. Others will be updated periodically with the latest data. This data brief and others can be accessed from the Reports & Publications section of the HCUP-US website.

HCUP Tool Updates

The following HCUP tools have been updated for calendar year 2022 and are designed for use with Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Level I (Current Procedural Terminology [CPT®]) and HCPCS Level II codes:

For more information on the changes to each tool, please see the Tools & Software page of the HCUP-US website.

HCUP-US Website Redesign

We are pleased to announce that the navigation on HCUP-US (www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/) has been updated to improve usability across the website.

screenshot of the HCUP-US website homepage

All of the website content remains the same, but if you experience difficulty finding any HCUP-US resources or if you wish to provide any feedback, you may contact HCUP Technical Assistance at hcup@ahrq.gov.

Databases and Products

Recently Released: 2021 and 2020 State Databases

Since April 2022, the following State databases have been released:

Complete listings of available databases by year can be found in the Database Catalog on the HCUP-US website. Databases can be purchased online through the HCUP Central Distributor, and aggregated national and selected State statistics can be accessed via HCUPnet.

Publication Spotlights

New HCUP Statistical Briefs Posted on HCUP-US

Since April 2022, the following HCUP Statistical Briefs have been released:

To access these and other Statistical Briefs, please visit the HCUP Statistical Briefs page on the HCUP-US website.


Question: My research team is preparing to submit a study that used HCUP databases and tools for publication, but we have a few questions before we do so.


How do we acknowledge the HCUP databases and cite the HCUP tools used in our study?

As specified in the HCUP nationwide and State Data Use Agreements (DUAs), be sure to acknowledge the source of the data by referencing the database name, HCUP, and AHRQ. The following example illustrates the correct way to acknowledge a study�s use of the NIS for data year 2019.

"The study examined regional cost differences for congestive heart failure admissions using discharge data from the 2019 National Inpatient Sample (NIS), Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality."

For reports of studies using State data, the acknowledgment must also specify the State(s) used in the analysis, as shown below. If space allows, please mention the specific HCUP Partners that provided the State data by name somewhere in the manuscript.

"We estimated total charges of hospital stays for total knee arthroplasty using the 2016�2018 New York State Inpatient Databases (SID), Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality."

You should acknowledge the HCUP database(s) used in your analysis in both the abstract and the main text and include a corresponding citation in the reference list.

When citing HCUP software tools in the reference list, please include the name of the tool along with the tool�s version (as applicable), refer to HCUP and AHRQ, and provide the related web link. You can find a list of Suggested Citations for HCUP Databases and Tools on the HCUP-US website. Additional information can be found on the HCUP Publishing Requirements page.

Are there guidelines we need to follow in presenting data in our publication?

When presenting HCUP data in your publication, there are some important privacy protection considerations to keep in mind. Please ensure your publication adheres to the following HCUP DUA requirements:

Myocardial Infarction Discharges Over Time by Age Group
Characteristic 2016 2017 2018 2019
Age, years        
  <21 0
  21-64 2,562 3,640 3,981 4,565
  65+ 2,409 3,109 2,893 3,672
*Counts of <11 are masked in accordance with the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Data Use Agreement

If the journal requests a copy of our analytic data file, can we post our data on the site or provide our data to readers?

No, it is a direct violation of your signed DUA to post data to a public website or provide the data to readers. Re-releasing data is not permitted under the HCUP DUA. In general, users are not allowed to share the HCUP data, including subsets, with anyone outside their research group who has not signed the HCUP DUA. This includes journals, journal reviewers and editors, and people accessing the article on a journal website. HCUP data results can be displayed in published materials and tables as long as they follow the DUA restrictions noted above with respect to avoiding identification of individuals and institutions and reporting counts no less than 11 discharges.

If a journal requests that you provide your data file (for review or to upload to a repository), the DUA instructs authors to cite the restrictions on data sharing and provide information for how the publicly available HCUP data may be accessed. Many journals also require that a data availability statement be published with an article. The following examples illustrate correct and incorrect data availability statements:

HCUP Events

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

The HCUP e-News is available online on 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