The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced today that it has added data for 2000—the most recent currently available information on hospital stays—to its HCUPnet. The Web-based HCUPnet is a free service that enables users to identify, track, analyze and compare statistics on the inpatient care of Americans in the nation as a whole, regions of the country, and in specific states.

HCUPnet also contains national trend data for the period 1993-2000, showing, for example, that patients in 2000 spent nearly 20 percent less time in hospitals, on average, than did patients in 1993. The trend data also show how the number of patients treated for specific conditions has changed. For example, the number of patients treated for septicemia—blood poisoning—rose from 330,000 in 1993 to a high of 420,000 patients in 1998, after which it returned to its 1993 level. In contrast, hospital discharges for affective disorders, primarily depression, rose steadily from 485,000 in 1993 to 664,000 in 2000, an increase of over 35 percent.

Since its launch two years ago, HCUPnet has provided answers to thousands of questions about hospital care, including, for example, the most expensive conditions treated in hospitals; procedures linked with the longest hospitals stays; the number of children's stays covered by Medicaid; and the trend in the number of heart procedures performed over the past several years.

The national and regional data in HCUPnet are derived from AHRQ's Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), while the data from participating states are from State Inpatient Databases (SID). Both data sets are part of AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). HCUPnet data exclusively on children's inpatient hospital care are from the Kids' Inpatient Database (KID).

To perform analysis on topics not covered by HCUPnet, users may purchase NIS, SID or KID data by contacting the HCUP Central Distributor toll-free at (866) 556-4287 or by E-mail at hcup@s-3.com.