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Categories: Featured Articles, Newsletter, Newsletter Issue 2016:3

State Health Practice Database for Research

Daniel Weinberg
IMPAQ International, LLC

The NIH Common Fund Health Economics Program (NCFHEP) is announcing the launch of the State Health Practice Database for Research (SHPDR). The NCFHEP aims to support theoretical and applied research to understand how innovations in treatments, diagnoses, and prevention strategies can be most effectively deployed to improve health and well-being. Based on the recommendation of a stakeholder meeting that led to the launch of the NCFHEP, an NIH organized Health Economics Workgroup identified a gap in the data available for health economics research: there is currently no integrated database on state health practices with statistically analyzable variables that facilitates research across states and over time. While a number of organizations are tracking state health practices, each is collecting and assembling data relevant to its unique mission and not necessarily in a form that lends itself to quantitative analysis by health economists.

To fill this gap, NIH has funded the development of SHPDR, which contains state-level data on health regulations, statutes, and legislation extracted from LexisNexis to support health economics research. The SHPDR is a longitudinal data set reflecting information in states’ statutory and regulatory codes in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016 and is intended as a tool to help formulate research questions that use state-level variation in health practice regulation to explain health outcomes of interest. To do this, it provides a data set containing binary variables indicating whether or not a state has a specific type of regulation, law or statute. Additional documentation is provided by the user guide and more detail on the content of the statutes and regulations is included adjacent to the variables selected for the Excel database. SHPDR is intended to serve as a starting point, rather than an end point, for researchers who need information on state-level variation in health practice regulations.

We hope you will join us for a webinar in October to learn more about the SHPDR dataset and how to access and use it. If you are interested in receiving more information about the webinar, please send an email to helpdesk@shpdr.org.