Reading Healthcare Cost Report Information System (HCRIS) datasets with SAS or other software
To get the worksheets that were completed to generate the cost report data, go to Paper-Based Manuals, choose Publication # 15-2 for the Provider Reimbursement Manual Part 2, then choose Chapter 36. R20P236F.zip in P152_36.zip has the 2552-96 worksheets A-M,S .
The HCRIS data consists of four databases: one has alphanumeric variables, one has numeric variables, one has hospital report meta-variables, and one has many of the individual numeric variables "rolled up" into one variable.
Be careful when using both the rollup file or the numeric file with negative amounts. For some items, losses are to be recorded as (+amount). In the past, sometimes values get recorded as -amount instead. Check worksheet instructions and the data when there may be negative amounts.
The primary key linking these datasets is the report record number, RPT_REC_NUM. The hospital report database is an ordinary and small rectangular data file. The alphanumeric (A) and especially the numeric (N) databases are big, long, skinny files. The A & N files have all the HCRIS report variables for all fiscal years from 1996 on. They have five variables each: RPT_REC_NUM, WKSHT_CD, LINE_NUM, CLMN_NUM, and the value. Extract data from these files using the worksheet code, line number and column number. Worksheets have names like 255296_*.xls, where * is a letter, a through s. The rollup files have three variables: RPT_REC_NUM, LABEL which is a reasonble mnemonic variable name reflecting the worksheet code, line number, and column numbers that were rolled up, and ITEM which is the value.
You will need a statistical or database package such SAS or Oracle, etc. , or a programming language that can handle large files to use the HCRIS data. The fyYEAR.zip files are about 100 Mb and can unzip to over 1 Gb.
The SAS datasets created by these programs can be converted to other formats using conversion software such as Stat/Transfer.
Healthcare Cost Report Information System (HCRIS)
Worksheet Name / Worksheet Code Crosswalk
The file below provides links between the seven-character worksheet codes, WKSHT_CD, used in the alphanumeric and numeric databases and descriptive labels. Over 1,300 codes are listed. For example,
SAS-friendly versions are already available with the SAS programs below.
(Note to NBER internal users: The first four programs have already been run. Begin by modifying alpha.sas to include your variables of interest).
Comparing HCRIS variable combinations to PPS
Users of the old Prospective Payment System PPS version of the hospital cost report data may wonder how PPS fields correspond to data extracted from HCRIS. The worksheet codes, column numbers, and line numbers from the most recent ( fiscal years 1996-1999 ) PPS files correspond exactly to the earliest 1996-1999 HCRIS files. Most PPS fields correspond to _exactly__one_ column and line on a 2552-96 worksheet. A few PPS fields, however, are the sum of multiple lines. The means files below are one way to check that HCRIS-extracted data corresponds to PPS fields. The match may not be exact, though. The HCRIS files have the most up-to-date cost report data for fiscal years 1996-1999. Frequecy tables of the character variables are included as well.
Send questions to Jean Roth.