How to Use HCUP to Create County-Level Statistics, Graphics, and Maps

The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) is the Nation’s most comprehensive source of hospital data, including information on inpatient stays, ambulatory surgery and services, and emergency department visits.

This bar graph shows stays for alcohol and other drugs for Cook County, IL in 2014. The highest rate of discharges per 100,000 population was for alcohol (745.2) with opioids (440.7) in second place. The lowest was for hallucinogens (3.9).

AHRQ has released new HCUP county- and region-level statistics on hospital stays involving alcohol, opioids, and other drugs. Through tables, graphs, and maps, this community-level information can provide the focused view necessary to inform local health policy and improvements in the health care system.

With this new resource, users can access statistics from 32 participating States for years 2013 and 2014 by either total number of discharges or as a rate per 100,000 people. Additionally, statistics can be distinguished by several variables, including age group, sex, payer and type of stay, and by hospital costs/charges and lengths of stay.

For example, Cook County, IL, had an opioid-related hospitalization rate of 440 per 100,000 people in 2014. By contrast, Starr County, TX, had a rate for opioid-related hospitalizations of 18 per 100,000 people. Maps that showcase the statistics can also be generated:

To obtain county or regional statistics on Stays for Alcohol and Other Drugs, go to the HCUPnet starting page, and select "Create a New Analysis." You should then go through the following steps:

This map is an illustration of county-levels stays for alcohol and other drugs for the State of Kentucky in 2014.


  • Choose Community.
  • Choose a Year.
  • Choose your State.
  • Choose Counties.
  • Choose Diagnosis/Procedure.
  • Choose Stays for Alcohol and Other Drugs.
  • Agree to the terms of the data use agreement.


Ready to start your own search? Simply go to the HCUPnet starting page to begin.

Page last reviewed August 2018
Page originally created March 2018
Internet Citation: How to Use HCUP to Create County-Level Statistics, Graphics, and Maps. Content last reviewed August 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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