UCLA Uses AHRQ Data in Major Study of Urological Diseases
Researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA used Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) databases, in conjunction with other resources, to investigate the national burden of urological diseases and kidney cancer in America. The results of the research were widely disseminated in a compendium report entitled "Urologic Diseases in America." The report was sent to every academic department of urology in the U.S. It was also used by public officials, non-government organizations, the media, academic researchers, health professionals, and the public.
Christopher S. Saigal, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Urology, conducted the study along with others in his group at UCLA. Saigal says, "HCUP databases, including the Kids' Inpatient Database, are vitally important to our research. These databases offer powerful, nationally representative snapshots of hospital data."
Key findings are that total expenditures for kidney cancer increased 46 percent between 1994 and 2000; 85 percent of these costs were for inpatient care. While length of hospital stays actually decreased during this period, inpatient costs rose significantly. Rates increased for the African American population faster than for whites, and survival rates for African Americans were worse.
"As this information disseminates through the medical community, this type of research is important for improving the patient survival and quality of care for patients with serious illness, as it allows an examination of trends and outcomes associated with the use of various treatments and procedures," Saigal notes.