Purveyor: Annual Hospital Association

Years in the DataCore: 2008-2017

Years of data owned: 2003-2017

Unit of data: Hospital (AHAID)

Dataset website:

 Purveyor website:

General Description: The AHA Annual Survey Database is a voluntary survey of the American Hospital Association and represents the most credible, consistent, and comprehensive data about hospital facilities. The survey is completed annually by nearly 6,300 hospitals and more than 400 health care systems.

With AHA Annual Survey Database, you can identify:

  • Hospital C-Suite, key contact for system
  • Utilization: admissions, births, surgeries, and ED visits
  • IT indicators that illustrate level of technology integration, i.e. EHR/EMR adoption
  • Evolution of new care systems, including ACOs, Patient Centered Medical Homes
  • Hospitals’ community health partnerships
  • Physician arrangements
  • Bundled payment pioneers

Hospitals report information on their organizational structure, service lines, utilization, finances, insurance and payment models, and staffing for a specific fiscal year. 

Common Key Linking Variables

The AHAAS dataset is structured as a single table by year. The primary key of this table is the AHA Identification Number (AHAID), which can be used to uniquely identify a hospital and link to other datasets. Additionally, identifiers such as the CMS Certification Number (CCN) and hospital name, among others, can be used as an alternative key linking variable. 

Licensing and Access

Access to this resource is constrained by an individual license. Users will be required to:

  • Create an account for the Secure Enclave (see home page)
  • Sign a Data Use Agreement
  • Pay the per year, per seat license fee

DataCore Staff Errata

5/25/2019: No data errata, data exceptions or data corrections have been issued.

DataCore Purveyor Errata

Data Updates

5/25/2019: No data errata, data exceptions or data corrections have been issued.

FAQs From Purveyor

1. Which hospitals participate in the AHA Annual Survey? 

AHA sends the Annual Survey to all hospitals identified as open and operating as a hospital. Both AHA member and non-member hospitals receive the Survey. The Annual Survey is not a sample survey. It is a survey of the complete universe of hospitals in the United States and territories.

2. Do all hospitals complete a Survey?

We achieve a response rate at or near 80%, despite the Survey being voluntary. Responding and non-responding hospitals are included in the Database. For non-responding hospitals an estimation process is used to impute missing statistical values

3. How can I tell if a hospital responded to the Survey?

  1. First, look at the field named RESP to see if the hospital responded to the survey.
  2. Many utilization and staffing values, such as admissions, have "estimation flags" to signal whether a value was reported or estimated.

4. How can I identify estimated values?

  1. The file layout has the complete list of estimation flags.
  2. Appendix H of the file layout includes the key to estimation flags.
  3. Estimated fields are 100% filled.
  4. Estimated fields have an "E" as the first character in the field name. For example, the estimation flag for Total Admissions (ADMTOT) is "EADMTOT"

5. How can I identify teaching hospitals or academic medical centers? 

There is no one field for identifying teaching hospitals or academic medical centers. However, it is possible to examine teaching status by looking at these five fields. We consider major teaching hospitals to be all hospitals that have the Council of Teaching Hospitals designation (MAPP8). We consider minor teaching hospitals to be all hospitals that have any one or more of the other four MAPP codes identified below.

  1. MAPP3 – Participating site recognized for one or more Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education accredited programs.
  2. MAPP5 – Medical school affiliation reported to the American Medical Association (AMA).
  3. MAPP8 – Member of the Council of Teaching Hospitals (COTH) of the Association of American Medical Colleges.
  4. MAPP12 – Internship approved by American Osteopathic Association.
  5. MAPP13 – Residency approved by American Osteopathic Association.

6. How are Urban/Rural locations derived?

  1. A rural hospital is located outside a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), as designated by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), effective June 6, 2003.
  2. Urban hospitals are inside Metropolitan Statistical Areas. 
  3. Micropolitan areas, which were new to the OMB June 6, 2003, definitions, continue to be classified as “rural” in AHA data offerings. 

7. Does the Database include "Unit’’ hospitals?

  1. In the Annual Survey Database, data appear only for the parent hospital. A "unit" is a distinct and separately identified site of care that is a component part of a larger (parent) hospital. Beds and activity pertaining to the individual unit are included as part of the parent hospital’s data. 
  2. There is a separate cross-reference file, FUNIT_ID.xls, delivered with the Database to identify unit hospitals (also referred to as "subsidiary hospitals") and their affiliated parent hospital. Learn more about "Unit" hospitals in the "Technical User Notes."

8. Are Health Care Systems included in the Database? 

For purposes of the AHA Annual Survey Database, a multihospital health care system is an entity with two or more hospitals owned, leased, sponsored, or contract managed by a central organization. The affiliated health care system is identified as part of the hospital record, where applicable. See the file layout for SYSNAME.

9. How can I identify integrated delivery networks? 

There is no field for integrated delivery networks (IDNs) or integrated delivery systems (IDSs). We suggest that you look at the “health system”or “network” fields.

10. Are all items on the Questionnaire included in the Database? 

Our Agreement with participating hospitals expresses we will not release revenue data at the hospital-specific level. Confidential items are denoted with an asterisk on the Questionnaire. Additionally, new items may be excluded from the Database for additional evaluation of the responses in relationship to the intent of the question.

11. Why are AHA Identification Numbers (hospitals) from a prior year Database not available for a given year?

Each AHA Annual Survey Database represents the population of hospitals recognized by American Hospital Association as open and operating in a specific fiscal year. The Summary of Changes in this Documentation Book identifies the AHA IDs added or removed from an annual Database, and the reason for the change.

12. Why do some hospitals have a "days covered" value of zero (0)?

Non-responding hospitals are assigned a "days covered" value of zero.

13. What fields must be present for a hospital to be considered a respondent?

  1. Reporting period
  2. Control
  3. Primary service
  4. Facilities and services
  5. Staffed beds
  6. Admissions
  7. Inpatient days

14. What is the difference between licensed beds and staffed beds? 

Licensed beds are the number of beds authorized by a state licensing (certifying) agency. Staffed beds are the number of beds regularly available (those set-up and staffed) at the end of the reporting period.

15. What is a community hospital and how can I find it in the Database? 

Community hospitals are non-federal, short-term, general, and other specialty hospitals. See the file layout for "CHC."

16. Which map projection is used for the latitude/longitude pairs? 

The Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinate system.


The data from AHA sent in the form of comma separated value files (.CSV). 

For the code used for these processes, email

Step 1: Create tables to hold these raw data in SQL. Also create a table containing all variables for all years.

Step 2: Load the raw data into SQL. We used bulk copy program (BCP) utility to load these data into SQL.

Step 3: Union all of the annualized data into the table, which contains variables for all years. 

Step 4: From the dictionary, we created a table that contains all pertinent information about all questions, and another table that contains all pertinent information about all category lists. These metadata tables allow us to load these data into other datasets.