Data Access Guidelines

North Carolina Hospital Discharge Data

The NC Discharge databases are not public records. 

Researchers and graduate students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and other universities, are encouraged to use the NC Hospital Discharge Data for public health research. Project proposals must be submitted for prior approval in order to assure the feasibility of the proposed research. Researchers can also obtain the NC data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), a state-federal-industry database partnership conducted through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). See www.ahrq.gov/data/hcup for ordering information.

Access Rules and Fees

Fees noted below are for requests for Entire Standard Discharge Level File or Subset of data variables (as defined by study needs). This does not include analysis of data or specialized data set creation. For all internal UNC requests, additional analytic time beyond basic extract and data preparation is charged at $70/hour. For external requests, the rate is $105 per hour. These fees support data storage, security, management and analyst preparation of the data.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Researchers. For unfunded projects, there are no fees for initial consultations or creation of basic analytic data sets of reasonable size. It is anticipated that these basic services will take up to 10 hours (2 hours of analytic consultation and 8 hours of analytic time). Additional charges of $500 per dataset-year will be made for projects requesting more than 5 years of data. These charges cover costs associated with data preparation.

Funded projects will be asked to pay for all analytic costs. We recommend including sufficient funding for analytic time in all grant proposals. Funding to pay for data management and programming time must be arranged and documented before the data request is submitted. Data management or programming work will be estimated based on a needs assessment using an hourly rate of $70/hour.

Graduate Students at any North Carolina-based Institute of Learning. Students must have a faculty adviser supervising their research and data analysis. No fees for up to 10 hrs of consultation/analytic time on non-funded projects. Student requests for more than 5 dataset-years require additional approval and charges.

North Carolina State Agencies. No fees for up to 10 hours of consultation/analytic time, additional analytic time at $70/hour.

University Researcher/Faculty (Not at UNC-Chapel Hill). $500.00 per dataset-year, additional analytic time at $105/hour. Funded projects will be asked to pay all for all analytic costs.

Graduate Students Outside of North Carolina. Students must have a faculty adviser supervising their research and data analysis. $200.00 per dataset-year, additional analytic time at $70/hour.

Not-For-Profit Organization and For-Profit Organization. The NC Hospital Discharge Data cannot be used for competitive purposes or market type research. If approved, not-for-profit organizations will be charged $500 per dataset-year and for-profit organizations will be charged $1,500 per dataset-year. Additional analytic time will be charged at $105/hour. Competitive or market research requests are always referred to Truven Health Analytics (State Data Processor).

Media. Media requests are always referred to Truven Health Analytics (State Data Processor).