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    PHC4 collects approximately 5.2 million inpatient and ambulatory/outpatient records combined each year from hospitals and freestanding ambulatory surgery centers in Pennsylvania. This data, which includes facility charges and treatment information, is collected on a quarterly basis. Each piece of data is subjected to standard validation processes and verified for accuracy by the hospital or facility that reports it.

    We share this data with the public not only through public reports on our website, but through special data request purchases.

    For a fee, businesses, organizations, or individuals can request standard “ready-to-use” data from PHC4 or custom data that is generated based on the specific needs of the populations you’re working with. We can also link our data to other data sources, such as the Pennsylvania vital statistics data from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, to provide even greater value to you.

    How to Submit a Data Request

    It’s easy to request the data you need from PHC4. The steps below will walk you through the process of submitting a data request.

    1. Review the available data, data descriptions, time periods, and file layouts under Available Data. You can find data fees under Data Price Structure.
    2. Determine the nature of your request:
      • Inpatient and/or ambulatory/outpatient procedure and/or financial data
      • Standard or custom data
      • Dataset (record-level) or report (aggregated groupings)
      • Time period
    3. Determine your client classification. There are several client classifications for the purpose of purchasing data and how the data will be used. Determination of client classification is subject to review:
      • Commercial – any corporation, coalition, association, organization, or individual that requests to resell or redistribute any of PHC4’s data or the resultant analysis from the data for a profit. This can include using the data in software products or in analysis for profitable consultation with clients. Examples of commercial clients include software vendors and health care and business consultants.
      • Non-Commercial – any corporation, coalition, association, organization, or individual that requests data to use internally for their own purposes and analysis. This can include, but is not limited to, hospitals and other health care providers, purchasers, insurers, and consumers.
      • Researcher – any university-based researcher who requests PHC4 data for the benefit of the health care system.
      • Government – any Pennsylvania state agency that requests data to use for government-related purposes.
      • Government Multi-use – any government agency, other than a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania state agency, that requests data for multiple research-related purposes, including limited and restricted redistribution, reselling of data samples, or in aggregate.
      • Press – any news industry of the mass media that focus on delivering news to the general public through print media (newspapers, newsmagazines), broadcast news (radio and television), and the internet (online newspapers); all entities regulated by the Federal Communications Commission will be considered, determination of eligibility is subject to review.
    4. Download and complete the applicable PHC4 Data Requests Application:
    5. Return the completed application by email or mail.
      Email: [email protected]
      Address:
      Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council
      Special Requests
      225 Market Street, Suite 400
      Harrisburg, PA 17101
    6. PHC4 staff will review the request to determine if the data file can be prepared according to your specifications. If necessary, PHC4 will contact you and attempt to satisfy your request based on the availability of the data. Your request must then be approved by the Executive Director, and in some cases, the council.
    7. A PHC4 analyst will produce the data file once it has been approved.
    8. A cost quote will be provided to you followed up with an invoice.
    9. Payments for invoices (please reference invoice number) will be paid using an online payment system or by check made out to Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council.
    10. Completed data requests files will be transferred to you after PHC4 receives full payment.

    Available Data and Pricing

    Available Data

    Review the information we collect and determine what type of data is most relevant for you.

    Data Pricing Structure

    See our pricing structure for both standard and custom data fees.

    FAQs

    Looking for more information about using or accessing our data? We’ve provided answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

    What data do you collect?

    PHC4 collects inpatient discharge records from Pennsylvania hospitals and ambulatory/outpatient procedure records from Pennsylvania hospitals and freestanding surgery centers. The ambulatory/outpatient procedure data consists of select procedures such as surgeries, endoscopies, chemotherapies, and certain cardiovascular procedures. Data is collected on a quarterly basis. We also collect financial data supplied by each hospital and ambulatory surgery center on an annual basis.

    Who do you collect data from?

    We collect inpatient data from general acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation, and long-term acute care hospitals in Pennsylvania. Ambulatory/outpatient procedure data is collected from freestanding Pennsylvania ambulatory surgery centers and hospital outpatient departments.

    Do you check the data for inaccuracies?

    Yes, the data is subjected to standard validation and editing processes by PHC4. Facilities are given the opportunity to correct their data as needed. The accuracy of the data is reliant on the response of the data sources. You can learn more about our methodology for validating data here.

    Who uses this data and what do they use it for?

    Hospitals and health systems request data for internal quality assurance activity, planning, product development, price setting, and market share analysis. Researchers have used our data to study topics like trauma system structure and performance, community health assessment, injury incidence, and even litigation in civil cases. Government requesters include the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, and individual members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Government projects use PHC4 data for community health assessment studies, public policy, and intervention and prevention programs.

    What is included in the data files?

    There are over 70 data fields available. Some examples include treatment information such as Diagnosis Related Groups (DRG’s) and Major Diagnostic Categories (MDC’s) in our inpatient discharge database, as well as admission source and type, diagnosis and procedure codes, and discharge status. Length of stay, hospital charges, and patient origin information are also available. Learn more about our available data here.

    What is a standard request?

    A standard data request allows you to select one of PHC4’s pre-programmed standard datasets. These standard files have a set price and do not require customized programming.

    What is a custom request?

    A custom data request allows you to request a subset of data from the standard databases based on your specifications. For example, you could request data for all diabetes-related hospitalizations in a particular Pennsylvania county or a report of the number of gall bladder surgeries in a specific region. These types of requests must be created and customized by PHC4 statisticians.

    What is the difference between a dataset and a data report?

    Datasets are patient-level records in a file. Datasets are a good option for researchers and organizations who plan to conduct their own analysis using the data. Data reports are aggregated summations of the patient-level records.

    Family Embracing

    Case Studies

    Explore our case studies to see how doctors, researchers, administrators, government agencies, and more are using our data to make changes in patient care.

    225 Market Street, Suite 400
    Harrisburg, PA 17101

    Phone: (717) 232-6787
    Fax: (717) 232-3821

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