Expanding Health Care Coverage


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Funding Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage


October 1, 2010


This Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) statistical brief sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) presents data from HCUP’s Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), which analyzed the 2 million most expensive stays (5% of the total) in short-term nonfederal hospitals in 2008.

The brief focuses on differences between discharges in the top 5% and bottom 95% of total charges.

This brief also compares discharges in the top 0.5% and the next 0.5% of total charges to explore whether there are any anomalies in the top percent that suggest measurement error. Differences examined include hospital and patient characteristics, clinical severity, length of stay, number of comorbidities, principal diagnosis, and all-listed procedures. The percentage of complex high-charge discharges in the top 1% of total charges as submitted by source is also reviewed.