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Finding and Using Health Statistics

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Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)’s mission is to make American healthcare higher quality, safer, more efficient, and more effective. AHRQ supports research that helps people make better, more informed decisions, and improve the quality of health care services. For example,

  • The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) is a family of databases and related software tools with the largest collection of nationwide and state-specific hospital care data. Users can create their own tables and statistics using a free system called HCUPnet. They can also see publications and statistical briefs using HCUP reports.
  • The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) gives access to data on the cost and use of health care and health insurance coverage. The information is based on surveys of families and individuals, their medical providers, and employers across the country. Users can create summary data tables, download public use data files, or browse through MEPS reports and chart books.
  • The National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports are yearly publications of AHRQ that track trends in care effectiveness, patient centeredness, timeliness of care, patient safety, and efficiency of care. The National Healthcare Disparities Report has information on health care quality and access for racial, ethnic, and income groups, along with other populations.

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