NJ Hospital Discharge Data Collection System (NJDDCS)

The NJDDCS comprises utilization data from New Jersey hospitals, including information on admission and discharge dates, hospital code, services rendered, charges, and type of insurer.

New Jersey discharge data files are derived from hospital uniform billing (UB) information. The UB information 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 of Health (DOH) strongly encourages users to verify their findings with other data sources.

The NJDDCS specifications, including variables, are available at right.

Background

In 1976, New Jersey’s Department of Health (Department) was among the first states to collect utilization data on hospital inpatients. With the passage of the Hospital Financing Rules, N.J.A.C.8:31B,  in 1981, all New Jersey hospitals began required reporting to the Department of hospital billing data through Uniform Bill-Patient Summaries (UB). 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.(Chapter 31B)

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 Department’s public health surveillance on various conditions.

Obtaining Non-confidential NJDDCS Data

Non-confidential New Jersey hospital discharge data (i.e., data stripped of any information that could potentially identify a patient in violation of HIPAA) are available through the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), a joint Federal and State partnership. Users are encouraged to request the state’s de-identified discharge data from HCUP. HCUP also distributes other states’ data in a standardized format.

Non-confidential NJDDCS data for research purposes may also be obtained from DOH when approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and after signing a data release agreement.

Obtaining Confidential NJDDCS Data

Data that contains any 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 (IRB) procedures. Instructions on how to request Confidential Data are available from the IRB, which is administered by Rowan University in partnership with the Department of Health.

Last Reviewed: 1/12/2017