Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP)

Largest collection of nationwide and State-specific longitudinal hospital care data in the United States enables research on a range of health policy issues.

Find complete program information on the HCUP-US Web Site

Generate your own health care statistics on HCUPnet.

Overview of HCUP

The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP, pronounced "H-Cup") is a family of databases and related software tools and products developed through a Federal-State-Industry partnership and sponsored by AHRQ. HCUP databases are derived from administrative data and contain encounter-level, clinical and nonclinical information including all-listed diagnoses and procedures, discharge status, patient demographics, and charges for all patients, regardless of payer (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, uninsured), beginning in 1988. These databases enable research on a broad range of health policy issues, including cost and quality of health services, medical practice patterns, access to health care programs, and outcomes of treatments at the national, State, and local market levels.

The HCUP databases are based on the data collection efforts of organizations in participating States that maintain statewide data systems and are Partners with AHRQ


HCUP Databases

National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample (NIS)
The National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample (NIS) is the largest publicly available all-payer hospital inpatient care database in the United States. Researchers and policymakers use NIS data to identify, track, and analyze trends in health care utilization, access, charges, quality, and outcomes.

Kids' Inpatient Database (KID)
The Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) is composed of hospital inpatient stays for children and is specifically designed to allow researchers to study a broad range of conditions and procedures related to children's health. Researchers and policymakers can use KID data to identify, track, and analyze health care utilization, access, charges, quality, and outcomes.

Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS)
The Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) captures information on emergency department (ED) visits that do not result in an admission as well as ED visits that result in an admission to the same hospital. The NEDS enables analyses of ED utilization patterns and supports public health professionals, administrators, policymakers, and clinicians in their decisionmaking regarding this critical source of care.

State Inpatient Databases (SID)
The State Inpatient Databases (SID) are a set of hospital databases containing the universe of the inpatient discharge abstracts from participating States, translated into a uniform format to facilitate multi-State comparisons and analyses. Researchers and policymakers use the SID to investigate questions and identify trends unique to one State, to compare data from two or more States, and to conduct market area research or small area variation analyses.

State Ambulatory Surgery and Services Database (SASD)
The State Ambulatory Surgery and Services Database (SASD) are a set of databases that capture surgeries performed on the same day in which patients are admitted and released. Researchers and policymakers use the SASD to compare inpatient surgery data with ambulatory surgery data; conduct market area research or small area variation analyses; and identify State-specific trends in ambulatory surgery utilization, access, charges, and outcomes.

State Emergency Department Databases (SEDD)
The State Emergency Department Databases (SEDD) are a set of databases that capture discharge information on all emergency department visits that do not result in an admission. The SEDD combined with SID discharges that originate in the emergency department are well suited for research and policy questions that require complete enumeration of hospital-based emergency departments within market areas or States.

HCUP databases can be purchased through the HCUP Central Distributor.


HCUP Related Reports

HCUP Statistical Briefs
HCUP Statistical Briefs present simple, descriptive statistics on a variety of topics including specific medical conditions as well as hospital characteristics, utilization, quality, and cost.

HCUP Publication Searches
Research Spotlights features recent examples of peer-reviewed publications utilizing HCUP data.

Search for articles based on HCUP data or products.

And More, Including:

  • HCUP Methods Series.
  • HCUP Projections.
  • HCUP Nationwide Database Reports.
  • HCUP State Database Reports.


Tools and Software

HCUPnet: Instant Access to Hospital Statistics
HCUPnet is a free, online query system based on data from HCUP that provides access to health statistics and information on hospital inpatient and emergency department utilization.

AHRQ Quality Indicators
AHRQ Quality Indicators (QIs) are measures of health care quality that use hospital inpatient administrative data and can be used to highlight potential quality concerns, identify areas that need further study and investigation, and track changes over time.

MONAHRQ: Input Your Data, Output Your Web Site
MONAHRQ is a software product that enables organizations to input their own hospital administrative data and/or CMS Hospital Compare data, and generate a health care reporting Web site.

And More, Including:

  • Clinical Classifications Software (CCS).
  • Chronic Condition Indicator (CCI).
  • Comorbidity Software.
  • Procedure Classes.
  • Utilization Flags.
  • Cost-to-Charge Ratio (CCR) Files.
  • Hospital Market Structure (HMS) Files.
  • HCUP Supplemental Variables for Revisit Analyses.
  • American Hospital Association (AHA) Linkage Files.
  • National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample (NIS) Hospital Ownership Files.
  • National (Nationwide) Inpatient Sample Trends (NIS-Trends) Files.
  • Kids' Inpatient Database Trends (KID-Trends) File.

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Page last reviewed August 2014
Internet Citation: Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). August 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.