HHS Data Council: Introduction

Purpose of the HHS Data Council:

The HHS Data Council is the principal, senior internal departmental forum and advisory body to the Secretary on health and human services data policy. The Council coordinates health and human services data collection and analysis activities in HHS, including an integrated data collection strategy as well as coordination of health data standards and privacy policy. HHS has taken a number of steps to address key data needs, promote a coordinated HHS wide strategy on data issues, and strengthen the Department's ability to work in collaboration with private sector entities, State and local governments, and other partners.

HHS plays an essential role in creating health and human services data and information for decision-making by supporting strong data collection, analysis and dissemination systems and by collaborating as a partner with other health and human services entities in the public and private sectors on common data interests. In addition, HHS plays a national leadership role in health and human services information policy, including national data standards, privacy policy, and national health information infrastructure issues.

Data Council Membership:

The HHS Data Council consists of senior level officials designated by their Agency and Staff office Heads, The Director of the National Center for Health Statistics, and the HHS Privacy Advocate/Expert. It is co-chaired by the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation on a permanent basis and the Head of an Operating Division on a rotating basis. The current cochair is the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ASPE provides executive secretariat and coordinates the activities of working groups of the Council. Members speak for their principals on data policy issues. The Council operates by developing consensus where possible.

List of Data Council Members and Staff Contacts

Data Council Agenda:

Current Activities

The Council is currently focusing its efforts in several priority areas:

Data Council Working Groups:

The Council meets monthly. Much of the Council's work is performed by standing and ad hoc interagency staff committees and working groups. These groups are coordinated by HHS data policy staff in ASPE, who also provide the Executive Secretariat for the Council.

  1. Data Strategy Committee
  2. Privacy Committee
  3. HHS Committee on Health Data Standards
  4. Working Group on Racial and Ethnic Data

Data Council Products:

The Data Council's long-term agenda is being implemented by staff members who flesh out issues for the working groups to refine and bring to the Data Council for modification and/or approval. Documents relating to their specific subject areas will be found under the working group web pages (above). Final recommendations, policies, and documents from the Data Council are then sent to the Secretary of HHS and/or made available for general distribution and implementation by the appropriate agencies.

Other Links:

Other documents and web sites which are thought by the Data Council to be useful and related generally to the Data Council agenda are listed without implying recommendation, approval, or endorsement.

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Administrative Simplification NCVHS Data Council Department of Health & Human Services