National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS)

Topic/focus: Cost and Utilization, Healthcare Facilities
and Services
Year(s): 1988 – present
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Study and sample characteristics: Administrative
medical records
Universe: Hospitals in participating states
Variables: Varies depending on dataset, see below for
more information
Access: Data use agreement is required
Cost: Please check with the EDRC Coordinator
Key web links: Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP)

  • Summary: The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP, pronounced “H-Cup”) is a family of health care databases and related software tools and products developed through a Federal-State-Industry partnership and sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). HCUP databases bring together the data collection efforts of State data organizations, hospital associations, private data organizations, and the Federal government to create a national information resource of patient-level health care data (HCUP Partners). HCUP includes the largest collection of longitudinal hospital care data in the United States, with all-payer, encounter-level information beginning in 1988. These databases enable research on a broad range of health policy issues, including cost and quality of health services, medical practice patterns, access to health care programs, and outcomes of treatments at the national, State, and local market levels. HCUP’s objectives are to: 1) Create and enhance a powerful source of national, state, and all-payer health care data, 2) Produce a broad set of software tools and products to facilitate the use of HCUP and other administrative data, 3) Enrich a collaborative partnership with statewide data organizations aimed at increasing the quality and use of health care data, and 4) Conduct and translate research to inform decision making and improve health care delivery. Please see the Nationwide Inpatient Sample , the Kid’s Inpatient Database , and the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample descriptions for more detail. Participating state-specific data is also available.