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Overview of the State Ambulatory Surgery and Services Databases (SASD)
The SASD are a set of longitudinal State-specific ambulatory surgery and services databases included in the HCUP family. These databases are created by AHRQ through a Federal-State-Industry partnership.
 
 
State Ambulatory Surgery and Services Databases

The State Ambulatory Surgery and Services Databases (SASD) are part of the family of databases and software tools developed for the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). The SASD include encounter-level data for ambulatory surgeries and may also include various types of outpatient services such as observation stays, lithotripsy, radiation therapy, imaging, chemotherapy, and labor and delivery. The specific types of ambulatory surgery and outpatient services included in each SASD vary by State and data year. All SASD include data from hospital-owned ambulatory surgery facilities. In addition, some States include data from nonhospital-owned facilities.

Developed through a Federal-State-Industry partnership sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HCUP data inform decisionmaking at the national, State, and community levels.

This page provides an overview of the SASD. For more details, see SASD Database Documentation and the Introduction to the SASD (PDF file, 196 KB; HTML).

Contents:
The SASD include encounter-level data for ambulatory surgery and other outpatient services from hospital-owned facilities. In addition, some States provide ambulatory surgery and outpatient services from nonhospital-owned facilities. The specific types of ambulatory surgery and outpatient services included in each SASD vary by State and data year. A number of States make their SASD files available for purchase through the HCUP Central Distributor.

Thirty-three States now participate in the SASD:

  • The SASD include encounter-level data for ambulatory surgery and other outpatient services from hospital-owned facilities in participating States that are translated into a uniform format to facilitate multistate comparisons and analyses.
  • All SASD include data from hospital-owned ambulatory surgery facilities. In addition, some States include data from facilities not owned by a hospital.
  • The databases contain a core set of clinical and nonclinical information on all patients, regardless of payer, including those covered by Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, and the uninsured.
  • In addition to the core set of uniform data elements common to all SASD, some include other elements such as the patient's race.
Free HCUP Tools & Software are also available to identify preventable hospitalizations, estimate costs, assess quality of care and patient safety, categorize diagnoses and procedures, and identify comorbidities.

Additional information on the SASD may be found in the Introduction to the SASD (PDF file, 196 KB; HTML).
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The SASD contain clinical and resource-use information that is included in a typical discharge abstract, with safeguards to protect the privacy of individual patients, physicians, and hospitals (as required by data sources). The SASD contain more than 100 clinical and nonclinical variables included in a hospital discharge abstract, such as:

  • All-listed diagnoses and procedures
  • Patient demographic characteristics (e.g., sex, age, and, for some States, race)
  • Expected payment source
  • Total charges
  • Hospital identifiers that permit linkage to inpatient hospital databases, such as the AHRQ-sponsored State Inpatient Databases (SID) and the American Hospital Association Annual Survey File
Elements included in the SASD are not always available for all States, including the hospital county identifiers or HCUP's Revisit Variables. Please see the Availability of Data Elements by Year.
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The SASD are well suited for research that requires complete enumeration of ambulatory surgery in hospital-owned facilities within market areas or States. Used with the SID, the SASD may be used to compare inpatient surgery data with ambulatory surgery data. The SASD promote comparative studies of health care services and support health care policy research on a variety of topics, including:

  • Analyses of ambulatory surgeries
  • Trends in ambulatory surgery utilization, access, charges, and outcomes
  • Shift in surgical procedures to outpatient facilities
  • Diffusion of medical technology
The SASD are used in a variety of publications:

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SASD releases beginning in data year 1997 are available for purchase through the HCUP Central Distributor. Costs vary by State and data year.

Prior to purchasing HCUP data, all individuals are required to take the online HCUP Data Use Agreement Training Course, and users of the SASD must read and sign the Data Use Agreement for State Databases (PDF file, 206 KB; HTML).

The SASD are available for purchase online through the HCUP Central Distributor.

Questions regarding purchasing databases can be directed to the HCUP Central Distributor:

E-mail: HCUPDistributor@AHRQ.gov
Telephone: (866) 556-4287 (toll free)
Fax: (866) 792-5313 (toll free)

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The SASD data set comes in ASCII format and can be run on desktop computers with a DVD drive. To load and analyze the SASD, you will need the following:

  • A DVD drive
  • A hard drive with one to four gigabytes of space available, depending on the SID being used
  • SAS®, SPSS®, or similar analysis software
The data set comes with full documentation. SASD documentation and tools, including programs for loading the ASCII file into SAS or SPSS, are also available on the SASD Database Documentation page.

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Internet Citation: HCUP Databases. Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). November 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/sasdoverview.jsp.
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Last modified 11/6/14