NC Discharge Data: Inpatient, Ambulatory Surgery, and Emergency Department
The Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research is under contract with the Division of Health Service Regulation (DHSR) to maintain, for use in research and state health planning the NC Discharge Databases((Inpatient, Ambulatory Surgery and Emergency Department) collected by Truven Health Analytics (Truven). Yearly updates from Truven keep the research database current.
Prior to 1995, the Medical Database Commission (MDC) collected hospital discharge data. On September 31, 1995, the North Carolina General Assembly eliminated the MDC and set up an alternative system for the reporting of discharge data. Since 1996, hospitals have reported data to Truven (formerly Solucient ,Thomson Healthcare and Thomson Reuters) as set forth by the Medical Care Data Act of 1995 (Article 11a of Chapter 131E of the North Carolina General Statutes).
Since 1996, the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research has worked under contract with the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation (DHSR) to store, maintain and analyze the NC Discharge Databases. The data contained in the discharge databases are retrieved claim forms used by facilities to bill payers.
Inpatient Discharge Data FY 1989-1994: data from the Medical Database Commission
FY 1995: data not available
FY 1996-2011: data from Truven
Ambulatory Surgery Data– in 2009 there are 91 facilities (free-standing ambulatory surgery centers)
FY 1997-2011: data from Truven
Emergency Department Data
FY 2007-2011data from Truven
Prior year’s data are not available
Who can use these data?
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and other researchers, are encouraged to use the NC Discharge Databases. Project proposals must be submitted for prior approval in order to assure the feasibility of the proposed research using these datasets. If approved, there will be a charge of $500 per year of data. Specialized requests will also accrue programming costs at $75 per hour. Guidelines for project submission and information on charges are available.
Not-for-profit or for-profit entities conducting market research or business/hospital research must contact Truven for access to these data. http://www.truvenhealth.com/
Beginning FY 2000, North Carolina data, along with many other state’s data, can also be obtained 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.
Many basic statistics are now publicly available on HCUP.net at no cost at www.ahrq.gov/hcupnet.asp
Confidentiality and privacy issues
All patient identifiers will be encrypted. Each researcher requesting use of the data will sign a data use agreement the Cecil G. Sheps Center agreeing to HIPAA guidelines. No specific patient or hospital can be identified. Please note that one of the following three variables MUST be suppressed: ZIP Code, Primary Diagnosis, or Hospital ID.