Hospital Encounters Involving Drug Use by Month From Selected Hospitals

Drug Use Hospital Data

The National Hospital Care Survey (NHCS), conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), collects data on patient care in hospital-based settings to describe patterns of health care delivery and use in the United States. Settings include inpatient facilities and emergency departments (EDs).

NHCS results provided on drug use-associated hospital encounters are from UB–04 administrative claims data from January 1, 2020, through July 31, 2022, from 27 hospitals that submitted inpatient data and 27 hospitals that submitted ED data. The data used in these figures are preliminary, and the results may change with subsequent releases. The data file will be updated every 2 months for the remaining months in 2022. The data are not nationally representative but can provide insight on hospital encounters associated with drug use.

Results show the percentage of encounters involving all drugs, all opioids, benzodiazepines, cannabis, and stimulants among all ED or inpatient encounters over time. Data are presented for each setting (inpatient and ED) and for each month by age and sex. These drug categories are defined by any listed International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD–10–CM) diagnosis code as follows:

  • All Drugs—A hospital encounter involving for all drugs is defined as any listed ICD–10–CM diagnosis code for Indicator ICD-10 Codes.
  • All Opioids—A hospital encounter involving for all opioids is defined as any listed ICD–10–CM diagnosis code for Indicator ICD-10 Codes.
  • Benzodiazepines—A hospital encounter involving the use of benzodiazepines is defined as any listed ICD–10–CM diagnosis code for Indicator ICD-10 Codes.
  • Cannabis—A hospital encounter involving for cannabis is defined as any listed ICD–10–CM diagnosis code for Indicator ICD-10 Codes.
  • Stimulants—A hospital encounter involving for all stimulants is defined as any listed ICD–10–CM diagnosis code for Indicator ICD-10 Codes.

  • 3,131,299 ED encounters and 1,166,078 inpatient discharges.
  • Data are suppressed for months with less than 30 encounters in the denominator. In the Figure, months with suppressed data do not have a corresponding data point on the indicator line.

Technical Notes

  • Data are not nationally representative.
  • Less than 1% of all encounters are excluded due to missing sex, age, or diagnosis.
  • Data represent encounters, not patients.
  • Data are suppressed for months with less than 30 encounters in the denominator.

Data Source

The data presented are from the 2020, 2021, and 2022 NHCS. The data in these figures are preliminary and are not nationally representative. All estimates shown meet the NCHS Data Presentation Standards for Proportions.

NHCS’ goal is to produce national estimates on hospital care and use. The survey collects electronic data from Uniform Bill (UB–04) administrative claims or electronic health records for all encounters in a calendar year from a nationally representative sample of 608 hospitals. Information collected includes diagnoses, procedures, demographics, discharge status, and patient identifiers such as name and date of birth. Eligible hospitals from the 50 states and District of Columbia include noninstitutional and nonfederal hospitals with six or more staffed inpatient beds. Hospitals are currently being received into the survey. The survey is designed to produce objective and timely data to assess the health and well-being of the population and the performance and functioning of the health care system. For more details about NHCS, visit the National Hospital Care Survey website.

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