HHS Plan for Integration of Surveys. Major Elements of the HHS Survey Consolidation Plan


• Redesigning and automating the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to serve as the sampling "nucleus" for many HHS population surveys. The NHIS provides annual data on health status, access to care, health behaviors, and other topics with sufficient size and scope to cover many sub-population groups.

• Implementing an ongoing, longitudinal panel survey on insurance and expenditures - the Medical Expenditures Panel (MEP). The 1996 MEP will use the 1995 NHIS as a sampling frame. The MEPS will add to the NHIS data by providing in-depth data on expenditure-related topics, such as insurance and utilization.

• Consolidating HHS' surveys of employers so that the National Employer Health Insurance Survey and the insurance followup component to the expenditure survey (MEP) are jointly fielded.

• Implementing joint field operations and common core questionnaires for HHS' major surveys of health care providers.

• Redesigning the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey so that it would be conducted using the NHIS as its sampling frame for its next cycle, beginning in 1998.

• Developing a new approach to characterizing the supply side of health care - provider organization, capacity, and affiliation - and rationalizing and coordinating HHS' provider inventories, health workforce analyses, and infrastructure surveys.

• Evaluating the issues involved in coordinating the field operations and sampling of the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse with similar approaches in the NHIS.

• Developing a modular design that will facilitate State-level estimates and provide a mechanism for States to "buy into" national survey efforts to meet their own needs.