HCUPnet has quick answers to care questions

Practitioners, policy-makers, researchers, and others now have a new interactive on-line service to help them get fast answers to questions involving inpatient care, charges, quality of care, patient outcomes, and access.

HCUPnet, a product of the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), can be accessed online by logging onto AHCPR’s Web site: http://www.ahcpr.gov/data/hcup/hcup net.htm. Users can choose specific conditions, disease groups or procedures, and then request information related to these, such as length of stay, total charges, and discharge status — including in-hospital deaths. HCUPnet users can also narrow their queries by selecting categories such as patient insurance status, age, or sex; or, by selecting hospital characteristics, including teaching status or ownership category.

The data source for HCUPnet is the 1996 Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). A partnership involving AHCPR, individual states, and the hospital industry, HCUP has produced the largest source of data in existence on the use, quality, and costs of inpatient care for all patients hospitalized in the United States. The NIS database contains information drawn from roughly 6.5 million hospital stays at more than 900 hospitals in 19 states. These stays include those covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance, as well as stays not covered by a third-party payer.

[For more information, e-mail hcup@ahcpr.gov.]