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The New Jersey Hospital Discharge Data Collection System (NJDDCS)


In 1976, New Jerseyís Department of Health (Department) was among the first states to collect utilization data on hospital inpatients. Utilization data includes information on admission and discharge dates, hospital code, services rendered, charges, and type of insurer. Since 1981, inpatient data has been collected through Uniform Bill-Patient Summaries (UB). Starting in 2004, the Department included outpatient data from hospital emergency departments (ED), on UB forms, in accordance with New Jersey laws and Department regulations.

Until 1992, NJDDCS and hospital cost data produced Diagnosis Related Group (DRGs) rates for New Jersey hospitals. The repeal of DRGs with the Health Care Reform Act (Chapter 160, enacted on November 30, 1992) ended the DRG payments to hospitals. Since then, NJDDCS supports Department and State public policy research, as well as the Departmentís public health surveillance of asthma, diabetes, complications of pregnancy, and pediatric hospitalizations that could have been averted by timely outpatient care. More recently, the NJDDCS has become instrumental as a data source for the Departmentís quality assessment efforts including the HEAL Law (P.L 2009, c.122) which was signed into law in August 2009 to monitor adverse events among hospitalized patients.

Procedures for Release of Data

The Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) ensures the privacy and security of an individualís identifiable health information. The following variables individually, or as a group, contain information that can potentially identify a patient and are, therefore, considered confidential and will not be released to the public:

  • Admission date
  • Discharge date
  • Patient control number (assigned by hospital)
  • Medical record number (assigned by hospital)
  • Date of birth
  • Patient name
  • Patient address
  • Insurance ID
  • Social security number
  • Physician code
  • Procedure Date

Non-Confidential Data

The non-confidential data is one where the protected variables (listed above) are removed from the confidential data file and made available to the public.

The Non-Confidential (or-de-identified) New Jersey hospital discharge data are available through the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), a joint Federal and State partnership. Users are encouraged to request the stateís de-identified discharge data from HCUP at HCUP also distributes other statesí data in a standardized format.

Confidential Data

The file that contains any or all of the individually-identifiable health information is considered Confidential Data. Confidential Data that includes even a single identifier protected by HIPAA may only be available to research organizations that adhere to Institutional Review Board procedures (Institutional Review Board). Instructions on how to request Confidential Data from the Office of Health Care Quality Assessment is available at the IRB site (

Please be advised that the New Jersey discharge data files are derived from hospital uniform billing (UB) information. The UB is used to electronically submit claims for health care provided in an institutional setting to payers as well as to exchange claims information between payers. The Department strongly encourages users to verify their findings with other data sources.

Data Documentation:

The NJDDCS Specifications including variables can be viewed or downloaded from

Summary Statistics Currently Available can be found at /healthcarequality/ub/inpatient_stats.shtml

Questions? Please call the hospital discharge data coordinator, Office of Health Care Quality and Assessment at 609-984-7334.


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Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-Apr-14 10:19:55