Costs for Hospital Stays in the United States, 2010

From the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ):

Statistical Brief #146 presents data from the Healthcare Cost and
Utilization Project (HCUP) on costs of hospital stays in the United
States in 2010. Both aggregate hospital costs and the average
costs per hospital stay are presented, by age and primary payer.
The most costly inpatient conditions are identified, and the cost
difference and components of growth in hospital costs are
provided for these conditions between 1997 and 2010. All
differences between estimates noted in the text are statistically
significant at the .001 level or better.

Read the complete report here.


Q: My copy of an earlier year of the NIS came with two 10% subsamples. What are these?

AIn the 2004 and earlier NIS, HCUP provided two 10% subsamples along with the core data file (a 20% sample) that would be used separately from each other. The 10% subsamples include their own discharges weights (DISCWT10), used to create national estimates for analysis.

These files were provided to allow analysts to test their models on a smaller set of data before running analysis on the full, weighted 20% sample. Because computer space and processing speed have grown so much, the subsamples are no longer provided.

Additional information is provided in the Introduction to the NIS, 2003 documentation available on the HCUP-US Website at

2010 National Inpatient Sample now available

The 2010 Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) was released in June. The NIS is the largest inpatient care database in the U.S. and includes all patients, regardless of payer – covering Medicare, Medicaid, privately insured, and uninsured patients. 

The NIS is a powerful database that contains data from approximately 8 million hospital stays, drawn from more than 1,000 community hospitals in 45 states. NIS data can be weighted to produce national estimates, allowing researchers and policy makers to identify, track, and analyze national trends in health care utilization, access, charges, quality, and outcomes. 

The 2010 NIS is available for purchase through the HCUP Central Distributor. Select aggregated statistics can be accessed via HCUPnet.

2010 NIS available for health services research on inpatient hospital visits

The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Nationwide Inpatient Sample(NIS) featuring 2010 data is now available. The NIS is the largest all-payer inpatient care database in the United States. 

The NIS is nationally representative of all short-term, non-Federal hospitals in the U.S. It is drawn from the HCUP State Inpatient Databases (SID) and includes more than 8 million hospital stays. The NIS includes all patients from each sampled hospital, regardless of payer—including persons covered by Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and the uninsured. 

The NIS contains data from 45 states and can be weighted to produce nationwide estimates, allowing researchers and policymakers to use the NIS to identify, track, and analyze national trends in health care utilization, access, charges, quality, and outcomes. The vast size of the NIS enables analyses of infrequent conditions, uncommon treatments, and special patient populations. 

As part of the HCUP database family, the NIS is considered by health services researchers to be one of the most reliable and affordable databases for studying important health care topics. 

The 2010 NIS can be purchased through the HCUP Central Distributor, and data can be accessed via HCUPnet, a free online query system. Additional information about the NIS and other products is located on the HCUP-US Website.

HCUP – New statistical briefs

New reports published since March:

  • #128 Hospital Stays with Cardiac Stents, 2009
  • #129 Rates of Obstetric Trauma, 2009
  • #130 Emergency Department Visits and Inpatient Hospital Stays for All-Terrain-Vehicle-Related Injuries, 2009
  • #131 Complicating Conditions of Vaginal Deliveries and Cesarean Sections, 2009
  • #132 Pediatric Cancer Hospitalizations, 2009
  • #133 Components of Cost Increases for Inpatient Hospital Procedures, 1997-2009
  • #134 Emergency Department Visits and Hospitalizations Associated with Animal Injuries, 2009

All HCUP Statistical Briefs can be found on the HCUP-US website.

HCUP – Recently released additional 2010 state databases

Since March 2012, the following 2010 state databases have been released:

Complete listings of available databases by year can be found in the HCUP Database and Product Release Calendar and the SID/SASD/SEDD Application Kit (beginning on page 6). Databases can be purchased through the HCUP Central Distributor, and aggregated statistics for selected states can be accessed via HCUPnet

HCUP hands-on training sessions by AcademyHealth

Two hand-on training sessions in using the HCUP databases & HCUPnet will be held in conjunction with the 2012 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

HCUP In-Depth and a Special Focus on Repeated Use of Health Care Services (Revisits/Readmissions)

June 23, 2012, 9:00am-1:00pm (Pre-Conference Meeting, Seminar in Health Services Research Methods)

This seminar will provide in-depth exposure to HCUP resources through instructor-led training on several HCUP databases and related tools. The course will begin with an overview of HCUP products, including a demonstration of HCUPnet, a free online query tool that provides instant access to HCUP data. Following the introductory overview, faculty will present step-by-step instruction on working with the HCUP databases and tools to conduct analyses. Faculty will cover the basics of loading these large data files to more advanced topics, including calculating national estimates, conducting trend analyses, and performing revisit/readmission analyses. Examples of SAS statistical programs will be provided that attendees can use on their own with HCUP data. Instructional and reference materials will be distributed and discussed.

 HCUP Data and Tools for Research

June 25, 2012, 5:00-6:30pm

This session will provide an overview of HCUP. HCUP provides all-payer, multi-year claims-based data on hospital inpatient, emergency department, and ambulatory surgery care, including the ability to track patients over time and across settings (e.g., readmissions). The session will describe the data, provide information on how to access analytic tools and free on-line statistics, and give examples of research approaches and findings based on HCUP. 



Question: How do I merge the 2009 Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) with an external file from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) via the National Provider Identifier (NPI)?


While the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) does not include the National Provider Identifier (NPI) – a number assigned to uniquely identify institutional providers – there are steps a researcher can take to obtain a hospital’s NPI and merge the NIS with an external data file, such as Medicare Institutional Data.

Step 1: Obtain the 2009 version of the American Hospital Association (AHA) Survey Database, which includes the hospital NPI.

Step 2: Merge the NIS Core File with the NIS Hospital Weights File by the element HOSPID.

Step 3: Merge the newly merged database created in Step 2 with the AHA Annual Survey Database by the element American Hospital Association Hospital Identifier (AHAID). This merged NIS-AHA database should include both the hospitals in the NIS and the hospitals’ NPIs.

Please note that some states restrict the release of AHAID in the NIS. Thus, hospitals in these states will not be merged with the AHA data. Reference “Table 2: Data Elements in the NIS Hospital Weights Files,” in the Introduction to the HCUP Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) for the states that restrict AHAID in the NIS.

Step 4: Merge the NIS-AHA database created in Step 3 with the Medicare Institutional Data by the institutional/hospital NPI.

For other HCUP questions, please contact HCUP User Support.

HCUP news – 2009 NEDS & other databases released

The 2009 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) has been released. NEDS is the largest all-payer ED database in the United States and contains information about geographic, hospital, patient, and visit characteristics.

The 2009 NEDS contains data from nearly 29 million ED visits from more than 950 hospital-based EDs in 29 states. It approximates a 20-percent stratified sample of EDs from community hospitals. Weights are provided to calculate national estimates pertaining to the almost 130 million ED visits that took place in 2009

Additional 2010 state databases released by HCUP include:

H-CUP news: 2009 KIDS now available, 2009 NEDS & state databases coming soon

The 2009 Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID) has been released. The KID is the only dataset in the U.S. designed specifically to study hospital use, outcomes, and costs in the pediatric (under age 21) population. A new KID is released every three years.

 The KID contains data from nearly 3.5 million pediatric hospital stays, drawn from over 4,000 community hospitals in 44 states. The KID includes all patients, regardless of payer – covering Medicare, Medicaid, privately insured, and the uninsured.

 The 2009 KID can be purchased through the HCUP Central Distributor, and select aggregated statistics are available on HCUPnet. Additional information on the KID is available on the HCUP-US Website.

 The 2009 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) is scheduled to be released this October. The NEDS, the largest all-payer ED database in the US, is a unique and powerful database that yields national estimates of emergency department (ED) visits.

 The first round of 2010 state databases will be released in September 2011. Database and product releases are updated monthly on the HCUP-US Website.