The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is seeking public comment as it redesigns its National Hospital Discharge Survey that has been conducted annually since 1965.

The survey, according to a notice published Jan. 5 in the Federal Register, "is the principal source of data on inpatient utilization of short-stay, non-Federal hospitals and is the principal annual source of nationally representative estimates on the characteristics of discharges, lengths of stay, diagnoses, surgical and non-surgical procedures, and patterns of use of care in hospitals in various regions of the country. It is the benchmark against which special programmatic data sources are measured."

CDC also is seeking a new sample of 500 hospitals to participate in the survey by contributing data on a quarterly basis for three years. The hospitals will electronically submit data from the UB-04 uniform bill.

Data collected from the UB-04 will include patient level data items such as basic demographic information, personal identifiers, name, address, Social Security number (if available), medical record number (if available), and characteristics of the discharge including admission and discharge dates, diagnoses, and surgical and non-surgical procedures. Facility level data items include demographic information, clinical capabilities and financial information.

CDC also will collect from a small number of hospitals a subset of data on acute coronary syndrome in a "pretest of a survey supplement" that the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute will sponsor. Click here for the notice.

--Joseph Goedert


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