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Along with the new children’s inpatient database, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in Rockville, MD, has just released 1998 and 1999 data for State Inpatient Databases (SID) and State Ambulatory Surgery Databases (SASD). (See "AHRQ unveils new children’s database," in this issue.)
The SID contain information for every inpatient hospitalization in each participating state, while the SASD capture information on surgeries performed at hospital-affiliated ambulatory surgery sites. Some SASD include records from freestanding surgery centers as well. In addition, SID and SASD data have been translated into a uniform format to facilitate multistate analysis.
Both data sets contain a core set of clinical and nonclinical information that include principal and secondary diagnoses and procedures, patient demographics, total charges, length of stay, discharge status, and patients’ expected payment source, such as Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, and whether they were uninsured. SID and SASD also contain hospital identifiers that permit linkages to hospital-level and county-level databases. The data files do not contain direct personal information about patients nor characteristics that might lead to the identification of patients.
The research resources are part of a family of databases and software tools developed as part of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), a federal-state-industry partnership sponsored by AHRQ for building a standardized multistate data system.
The first seven states to make their 1998 and 1999 SID data available for purchase through the AHRQ-sponsored HCUP Central Distributor are Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, New York, Oregon, and Wisconsin. The first four states to make their 1998 and 1999 SASD data available for purchase through the same source are Colorado, Maryland, New York, and Wisconsin. Additional states are expected to make their SID and SASD files available through the HCUP Central Distributor by Sept. 30, 2001. As soon as their data become available, AHRQ will announce the availability on its web site at www.ahrq.gov/data/hcup.
[For more information, contact: Anne Elixhauser, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, 2101 E. Jefferson St., Suite 605, Rockville, MD 20852. Telephone: (301) 594-6815.]