The term inpatient hospitalizations refers to hospital discharges of Missouri residents from non-federal and non-state short-term (average length of stay less than 30 days) general and specialty hospitals whose facilities are open to the general public.

Excluded from hospitalization data are discharges from long-term care facilities, as well as those from long-term care units within general hospitals (i.e., swing bed, skilled nursing, and intermediate care units). Also excluded are discharges from residential care facilities and residential care units within licensed hospital facilities.

Newborns are a special category of hospital discharges that are not included in this MICA. However, mothers who gave birth, as well as persons hospitalized for pregnancy and childbirth-related conditions, will be included in the hospitalizations data.

Hospitalization data reflect all sources of inpatient admissions, including direct admissions, transfers from emergency departments or other within-hospital units, and transfers from external facilities (i.e., other hospitals or long-term care facilities). The source of these data is the Patient Abstract System (PAS) data file, which is compiled from hospital discharge records that are filed with the Department of Health and Senior Services by state law. The reporting requirements for the PAS have been in place in Missouri continuously since 1993. However, due to changes in coding and continuity, this MICA contains data from 2001 forward.

In some instances, certain data values in the patient record are missing or miscoded. Discharges with missing or miscoded data values are included in the statewide totals, but may not be included within the displayed categories of certain variables (e.g., race, county of residence). Thus, a total of all categories of a variable may not equal the statewide total for that variable. Patients with a missing state of residence were deleted from the analysis file. Those discharges records identified as Missouri residents, but missing a county identifier, are included in the statewide totals only.