Data Source

Basis of Data Collected

Data Strengths

Data Limitations

National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMC)

Sampling data derived from hospital EDs and associated clinics. Selected, stratified facilities; 4-week sampling period each year.

Similar data strengths to the National Hospital Discharge Survey. Valuable source for health care cost data. Survey numbers balanced between ED and clinics.

Similar data limitations to National Hospital Discharge Data. Also has non-ICD global diagnosis codes (e.g., “poisoning” that may capture additional cases).

National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS)

Sampling data derived from outpatient practice care settings. Selected outpatient clinics in selected states. Sampling of cases over 1 week; physicians comprise the sampling unit (approximate n = 2,400).

Similar data strengths to the National Hospital Discharge Survey and NHAMC.

Similar coding limitations to NAMCS; sampling is more limited, with fewer observations than the NHAMC.

Healthcare Cost and Utilization Program National Inpatient Sample

Survey managed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Stratified sample of hospitals that varies year by year.

Similar data strengths to the National Hospital Discharge Survey. Health care cost focus.

Dataset can be queried but not downloaded for free; ICD and sample limitations apply; not all states participate; sample size varies.



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