The HHS survey consolidation plan offers value - first, a bigger "bang for the buck" for currently budgeted dollars, and second, a framework in which critical, longstanding data needs can be met with minimum additional investment.
The FY 1996 HHS Data Investment included funds to meet critical short-term data needs. This investment was only partly funded, and there was criticism that the investment strategy did not go far enough in rethinking the fragmentation of HHS data activities.
HHS continues to believe that the type of investment outlined in the FY 1996 Data Investment is still warranted, given the importance of good information in leveraging efficiencies in the multi-billion dollar health system. HHS has gone "back to the drawing board" to develop a more comprehensive, longer-term strategy. This consolidation plan goes considerably farther than the Investment in addressing the underlying structure and rationale for HHS data systems, proposing significant changes in the role and operations of nearly every major HHS survey. With the efficiencies brought about with these changes, HHS feels that at the level of investment sought in the FY 1996 Investment, a long-term strategy can be put in place for meeting ongoing data needs and responsibilities.
Tab G includes tables describing the current services funding baseline (reflecting the current funding and periodic cycling of existing HHS surveys), and funding for the proposed consolidated survey plan.