Date:  03/22/2000  12:40 pm  (Wednesday)
From:  [log in to unmask]
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Subject:  AHRQ Releases Nation's Most Current Hospital Discharge Data

AHRQ Releases Nation's Most Current Hospital Discharge Data

Press Release Date: March 15, 2000

The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) today
announced the release of its 1997 Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS)-
the most current publicly available national database of hospital
inpatient care use, outcomes and charges on all patients, regardless
of payment source. This newest NIS release includes hospital
discharge information from approximately 7 million inpatient stays at
over 1,000 hospitals in 22 states nationwide.

"Increasingly, the health services research community is using the
NIS to uncover trends that have significant public policy and
management implications for inpatient care," said AHRQ Director John
M.Eisenberg, M.D. "This data set gives researchers an evidence base
to understand patterns of hospitalization by Americans as a whole, or
by specific groups, such as children and the elderly, and to assess
outcomes as well as hospital charges."

The NIS is the only publicly available database that includes charge
information from all payers (Medicare, Medicaid, private insurers) as
well as data on the uninsured. Like previous releases, the 1997 NIS
contains more than 100 clinical and non-clinical variables,
including: principal and secondary diagnoses and procedures; patient
demographic characteristics such as gender, race, median income;
payment source; length of stay; total charges; and discharge status.
The large size of the database permits analysis of rare conditions,
such as congenital anomalies, and studies of infrequent procedures,
such as organ transplantation. For researchers who want to analyze
trends, NIS data sets are available for 1988 through 1997.

The NIS can be linked with databases containing county-level
information, such as the Bureau of Health Professions Area Resource
File-a database of the U.S. Health Resources and Services
Administration. It can also be linked with descriptive hospital data
from the American Hospital Association's Annual Survey of Hospitals.

The data set can be run on desktop computers and comes in ASCII
format for ease of use with numerous off-the-shelf products,
including SAS and SPSS. NIS also includes weights for producing
national and regional estimates and comes with full documentation in
Adobe Acrobat. SAS and SPSS users are provided programs for
converting ASCII files.

The data set is part of a family of products produced by the
Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), a Federal-State-
industry partnership sponsored by AHRQ. A key goal of the partnership
is producing standardized, high-quality data that measures and
evaluates changes in the health care system.

The 1997 NIS is available on CD-ROM with accompanying documentation
for $160 from the National Tech nical Information Service, 5285 Port
Royal Road, Springfield, VA, 22161 (1-800-553-6847 or 703-605- 6000).
The product number is PB2000-500006. To order earlier NIS releases,
visit the NTIS Web site at Interested users can
preview the NIS on-line with HC UPnet at

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs, (301) 594-
1364: Louise Arnheim (301) 594- 6350.

Internet Citation:

AHRQ Releases Nation's Most Current Hospital Discharge Data. New
Press Release, March 15, 2000. Age ncy for Healthcare Research and
Quality, Rockville, MD.


Isabelle Melese-d'Hospital, Ph.D.
Research Specialist
Emergency Medical Services for Children National Resource Center
111 Michigan Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20010-2970
phone: (301) 650-8059         fax: (301) 650-8045
email: [log in to unmask]    website:
[OUT of the office 3/25-3/30/00, 4/10-4/17/00]

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