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HHS Data Council - Survey Integration Work Group


Develop a Department-wide data collection strategy, including coordination and integration of surveys and oversight of surveys and general statistical analysis.


As part of efforts to "reinvent government," HHS has undertaken a major planning effort to restructure its health surveys in an effort to fill major data gaps, improve analytic utility, and create greater operational efficiencies. The product of this effort is the HHS Survey Integration Plan. Under the auspices of the HHS Data Council, the Survey Integration Work Group has responsibility for developing and implementing this plan.

This plan addresses a range of linkages, streamlining, and consolidation approaches including:
1) integration of survey samples;
2) coordination of questionnaires to reduce overlap and increase analytic capability; and
3) consolidation of field operations for surveys of employers and health providers.

Several of the first steps toward implementation have already occurred, most notably the integration of two major HHS surveys - the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the National Medical Expenditures Survey (NMES). The NHIS is now used as a sampling nucleus for multiple HHS surveys, and the NMES - now titled the National Medical Expenditures Panel Survey - is being conducted as a follow-up survey to persons previously interviewed in the NHIS.

The plan also calls for continued efforts to evaluate and modify existing HHS surveys, as well as efforts to meet emerging data needs through modification and evolution of the integrated survey framework. Such efforts to improve the efficiency and analytic capability of HHS surveys are particularly important as resources are tight, and as ongoing reforms in the health care system make data critically important.

Work Group Membership and Contact Information

Work Plan:

This Committee has developed a detailed workplan that covers two areas of activities:

  1. Implement the Survey Integration Plan and expand the effort to include additional HHS needs for health and social services data.
  2. Coordinate HHS data strategy to support the Secretary's Initiative on Research Planning.

The complete Survey Integration Work Plan includes detailed lists of action items in each area.


The following documents are the products of this Committee to date. Work in progress is not linked.

HHS Survey Integration Plan

List of existing federal surveys of health information

Other Links:

There are many organizations working on health information surveys at different levels, from policy to implementation guides. The following list of some of the organizations that design or perform population surveys provides links to their web pages where they are known.

  • List of Organizations that Survey for Health Information