Based on 1993 Hospital Discharge Data.

	The Hospital Financial and Utilization Profile Standard 
Report (ST-1) is an annual report from the inpatient hospital 
discharge data released by the Utah Health Data Committee, The 
ST-1 report serves as the basis for smaller consumer-oriented 
reports.  The hospital discharge data will be used to support 
evaluation and monitoring of annual hospital utilization trends.  
The ST-1  contains aggregated all-payer data and compares hospital 
financial and utilization data in a standardized format.  

The Health Data Committee

	Chapter 33a, Title 26, Utah Code Annotated established the
eleven-member Utah Health Data Committee (committee).  In 
accordance with the act, the committee's purpose is "to direct a
statewide effort to collect, analyze, and distribute health care 
data to facilitate the promotion and accessibility of quality and 
cost-effective health care and also to facilitate interaction 
among those with concern for health care issues". 

The Health Data Plan

	The committee worked with numerous organizations and 
individuals to develop the Utah Health Data Plan,  which defines 
the implementation of a statewide health data reporting system.  
The committee realizes the need for data is great, but recognizes  
resources are limited so its activities must be prioritized.  

	The committee's first priority is inpatient hospital 
discharge data.  According to statistics released by the Division 
of Health Care Financing, Utah Department of Health,  hospital 
care accounted for 47 percent of total Utah health care 
expenditures in 1990.  Additionally,  hospital billing data was 
identified as a readily available data source which was comparable 
across hospitals at a state, regional, and national level. Other 
committee priorities include financial performance data from the 
Medicare Cost Reports, ambulatory data from medical claims, and 
research and integration of prevention and work site wellness 

The Hospital Discharge Data Base

	Administrative Rule R428 became effective in December 1991, 
and mandates that all Utah licensed hospitals, both general acute 
care and specialty, will report information on inpatient 
discharges, beginning with January 1, 1992.  Fifty-five Utah 
hospitals in 1993 submitted data in 1992, including nine 
psychiatric facilities, seven specialty hospitals, and the 
Veterans Administration Medical Center.  Shriners Hospital, a
charity hospital, is exempt from reporting requirements. 

	All hospitals report "discharge data" for each inpatient 
served.  "Discharge data" means the consolidation of complete 
billing, medical, and personal information describing a patient, 
the services received, and charges billed for each  inpatient 
hospital stay.  

	Discharge data records are being submitted to the office 
quarterly.   The data elements are based on discharges occurring 
in a calendar quarter.  If a patient has a bill generated during a 
quarter, but has not yet been discharged by the end of the quarter, 
data for that stay is not included in the quarter's data.

Uses of Hospital Data

	The Health Data Committee has included data on hospital 
charges in this report.  These charges are comparable across Utah 
and throughout the United States. 

	Billed charges are to be used as only one indicator of 
hospital performance. All patients, or insurance plans, do not pay 
the same amount for similar treatments, supplies, services, and 
procedures, even though they may be billed the same amount.  
Hospitals offer a variety of contracts, many with discount 
arrangements based on volume.  Because of this, the committee was 
unable to publish hospital data based on actual payment. 

	This report shows total charges, which includes both 
facility charge and professional charges.  We were unable to break 
total charges down into these two  components due to inconsistency 
in the hospitals' reporting of revenue center charges.  On the 
average, professional charges accounted for a very small 
proportion (.006) of total charges in 1993.                                           
	This report can be used to compare broad measures of 
utilization for all hospitals, but more detailed data is needed to 
look at specific performance comparisons between hospitals.  It 
addresses inpatient utilization issues, but does not directly 
measure the quality of medical care or outpatient care.

	Although these data cannot answer clinical questions, they 
may serve as an important first step toward consumers taking a 
more active role in health care decision-making. The price of 
hospital services, while important, is not the only consideration 
in making inpatient hospital decisions.  Other factors that may 
influence hospital services include the type of condition treated, 
the facility where the admitting doctor has privileges, and 
insurance company contractual arrangements.  The subscriber should 
be familiar with his or her contract long before hospital care is 

copyright © 1995 Utah Office of Health Data Analysis