Question: What data do you collect?

 

Answer: The Office of Health Care Access (OHCA) collects inpatient discharge and billing data from the state’s acute care hospitals. Data on every inpatient discharged from each of the state’s 31 hospitals in the state is provided to us on a semi-annual basis.

 

Question: Do you check the data for accuracy?

 

Answer: Yes, OHCA edits the data and provides error reports to each hospital, if applicable. The hospital will make corrections and either provides a new corrected file or sends the corrections manually for input into OHCA’s system. (The accuracy of the data is reliant on the response of the data sources.)

 

Question: Who are common users of the data and what do they use it for?

 

Answer: OHCA provides inpatient hospital discharge data to a variety of users such as hospitals, state and local governments, researchers, private or non-profit agencies, commercial requesters and members of the general public. For example, hospitals may request data for internal planning, product development and market share analyses. Researchers may use the data to support such studies as injury incidence or diagnosis frequency. Government requesters include the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Connecticut General Assembly and many Connecticut municipalities. Private and non-profit agencies rely on the data for grant funding applications and special analyses. The general public sometimes requests information on the frequency and patient disposition of common procedures at specific hospitals.

 

Question: What is included in the data?

 

Answer: There are over 140 data elements in OHCA’s data set. For example, OHCA collects information on Diagnosis Related Groups (DRGs), Major Diagnostic Categories (MDC’s), admission source and type, diagnosis and procedure codes, and discharge status. Utilization data such as length of stay and hospital charges are also collected.

Our regulations prohibit us from releasing certain information; record-level data is not available and not all data fields collected are available to requesters.

Section 19a-167g- 94 (g) of OHCA’s regulations describes in detail confidential data elements that are not released, as well as suppression thresholds. Section 19a-167g- 94 (h) (9) of OHCA’s regulations lists what variables are collected by OHCA.

(Click here to read the regulations).

 

Question: How do I request data?

 

Answer: All requests must be in writing (e-mail is acceptable) using OHCA’s Hospital Inpatient Discharge Data Request Form.  Requests should contain a list of the requested data elements, a detailed description of the content and organization of the report and an example of the layout showing how the requested data should be organized. Submission of the form serves as confirmation that the request conforms to the confidentiality provisions of Office of Health Care Access regulations.  

Question: How soon will I receive the requested information?

Answer: Once a request is received, OHCA staff evaluates it for adherence to the confidentiality provisions and suppression thresholds of our regulations. The requester is notified within four business days of OHCA’s receipt of the request whether or not the request seeks confidential data elements or does not meet the thresholds outline in the agency’s regulations. All requests for data are then publicly noticed. The public has ten business days to comment on a noticed request with respect to its conformance to the agency’s confidentiality and threshold standards. Data requests cannot be released before the end of the notice and comment period.

 

Please note that requests are processed in the order in which they are received and a high volume of requests or a particularly complex request may affect the completion period.