The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP, pronounced “H-Cup”) is a family of healthcare databases and related software tools and products from the United States that is developed through a Federal-State-Industry partnership and sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
.HCUP provides access to healthcare databases for research and policy analysis, as well as tools and products to enhance the capabilities of the data. HCUP databases combine the data collection efforts of State data organizations, hospital associations, private data organizations, and the Federal Government to create a national information resource of patient-level healthcare data. State organizations that provide data to HCUP are called Partners. HCUP includes multiyear hospital administrative (inpatient, outpatient, and emergency department) data in the United States, with all-payer, encounter-level information beginning in 1988. These databases enable research on health and policy issues at the national, State, and local levels, including cost and quality of health services, medical practice patterns, access to healthcare, and outcomes of treatments. AHRQ has also developed a set of software tools to be used when evaluating hospital data. These software tools can be used with the HCUP databases and with other administrative databases. HCUP’s Supplemental Files are only for use with HCUP databases. HCUP databases have been used in various studies on a number of topics, such as breast cancer, depression, and multimorbidity, incidence and cost of injuries, role of socioeconomic status in patients leaving against medical advice, multiple chronic conditions and disparities in readmissions, and hospitalization costs for cystic fibrosis.