AHCJ update: Inpatient hospital charge data

Jeff Porter

About Jeff Porter

Jeff Porter is the special projects director for AHCJ and plays a lead role in planning conferences, workshops and other training events. He also leads the organization's data collection and data instruction efforts.

AHCJ just updated its version of Medicare inpatient charge data that covers hospitals across the United States.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has updated its data, showing what hospitals charge Medicare for treatments or procedures. Government data files include bills submitted by almost 3,500 hospitals for inpatient treatments in federal fiscal years 2011 through 2015. Beginning with the 2014 data, all discharges are reported. Prior years (2011 through 2013) are limited to the top 100 most frequently billed discharges.

AHCJ has made the data easier for members to use when comparing hospitals from one year to the next by combining the files to include the hospital name, the diagnoses and procedures, the number of patients discharged and the amount paid to the hospital. This not only allows a basis for some local or regional comparisons, but also a starting point for stories on hospital costs and services.

In addition to comparing costs, reporters can see if local hospitals have increased or decreased the treatment of specific conditions. Those changes might indicate changes in local physician population, changes in community needs, the opening or closing of hospitals or services, and even changes in hospital marketing efforts.

You can find the AHCJ-prepared file, plus a rundown on each column’s definition, by clicking here. The page includes links to documentation to help you understand and use the data.

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