New AHRQ Web Tool Provides Quick Access to Hospital Discharge Data

Jul 22, 2015, 17:32 ET from Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Fast Stats, a new online tool released today by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), allows users to analyze the latest state-by-state information on hospital discharges, including all-payer data on discharges in 2014 from 17 states. It provides information on the number of discharges paid for by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance, as well as the uninsured, for categories of conditions – surgical, mental health, maternal, injury and medical – and supports the Agency's ongoing efforts to increase public access to health care data. Because Fast Stats provides access to 2014 hospital discharge data from these 17 states, it can be used to analyze the effects of Medicaid expansion and other provisions of the Affordable Care Act on hospital utilization levels and payment sources.

For example, the tool shows that in Colorado, a Medicaid expansion state, there was a 50 percent increase in Medicaid-covered hospital stays during the first nine months of 2014, while uninsured hospital stays declined 90 percent. In contrast, Missouri, which did not expand Medicaid, experienced no significant changes in hospital stays for Medicaid or uninsured patients.

"Fast Stats makes government data transparent to researchers, policymakers and the public, and can assist them in understanding the effects of health care delivery system reform," said AHRQ Director Richard Kronick, Ph.D. "This tool allows users to clearly see the differences across states in hospital utilization and allows a comparison between those states that have expanded their Medicaid programs and those states that have not."

Today's announcement is part of a larger effort at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to transform our health care system to deliver better care, spend taxpayer dollars in a smarter way, and put patients at the center of their care. The Affordable Care Act has been a critical part of this effort, providing HHS with the tools it needs to make these important changes.

Fast Stats provides easy-to-read graphics, tables and export options. It draws on data from the Agency's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) and allows users to examine hospital stay information for approximately 40 states according to payer group. In addition to categorizing stays by broad condition categories, the tool provides hospital stay information about three specific medical conditions – diabetes, asthma and congestive heart failure. Information about hospital stays related to other conditions will be added over time, and statistics will be updated regularly as the newest data become available. Currently, Fast Stats has data for at least one quarter of 2014 from 17 states, and has three or four quarters of 2014 data from 11 states. 

AHRQ's mission is to produce evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable, and to work with HHS and other partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used.

The AHRQ-sponsored HCUP is a family of health care databases and related software tools and products. HCUP databases bring together the data collection efforts of state data organizations, hospital associations, private data organizations and the federal government. It includes the largest collection of longitudinal hospital care data in the United States, with all-payer, encounter-level information beginning in 1988.                      

For more information about AHRQ, visit www.ahrq.gov. For more information on HCUP, visit www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov. For more information about FastStats, visit http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/faststats/landing.jsp

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SOURCE Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality



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