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AHRQ provides users instant access to health statistics and
information on hospital stays from AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization
Project (HCUP). This project comprises a family of health care databases and
related software tools developed through a federal-state-industry partnership
and sponsored by AHRQ. HCUP includes the largest set of publicly available,
all-payer health care databases in the United States. HCUP data can be queried
through HCUPnet, an on-line system that provides instant access to health
statistics and information on hospital stays from HCUP data. To access HCUPnet,
go to http://hcup.ahrq.gov/HcupNet.asp.

For example, at a hospital I'm working with the fifth most prevalent
DRG is 12 (degenerative nervous system disorders). I can benchmark
their average LOS with national data from 2002 (most recent data). My
client's LOS is 5.47 days longer than the national average for this
DRG. Most of the other DRGs I checked showed them at or below the mean
for 2002. You can get a good overview of the site here.

To speak with an AHRQ expert regarding HCUP data, contact
Bob Isquith at bisquith@ahrq.gov or call (301) 427-1539.