AHRQ Releases New Tool for Analysis of Hospital Discharge Data
AHRQ has released Fast Stats, a new online tool from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) that provides easy access to the latest HCUP statistics from 41 states on numbers of hospital discharges by payer group (Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, uninsured) and by condition category (surgical, mental health, injury, medical). Fast Stats enables state-by-state comparisons and can be used to analyze the effects of Medicaid expansion on hospital utilization levels and payment sources. For example, Fast Stats 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. During the same period, hospital stays for the uninsured declined 90 percent. In contrast, Missouri, which did not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, experienced no significant changes in hospital stays for Medicaid or uninsured patients. Information in Fast Stats is presented in graphics accompanied by underlying tables with numbers and data export options for analysts. Statistics will be updated quarterly or annually as new data become available. Data for 2014 are fully or partially available for 17 states. New topics about health care delivery in U.S. hospitals will be added in the future.