Improving Data for Decision Making: HHS Data Collection Strategies for a Transformed Health System: Implementation Update and Accomplishments. Data Release, Access, and Dissemination


HHS agencies are developing and expanding a number of early data release programs, including NCHS, AHRQ, SAMHSA and CMS initiatives, and working with the Chief Technology Officer.

  • Current initiatives include preliminary and advance data release projects such as the NCHS NHIS quarterly early release program and the early release from the MEPS Insurance Component.  Other agencies are exploring early release options.
  • CMS is creating claims-level public use files (PUFs) that can be made available to users free of charge on the CMS website.  CMS is also testing new techniques of data acquisition from States that could reduce administrative costs and level of effort for both federal and State governments, and improve timeliness and reliability of Medicaid data.
  • CMS is currently pursuing methods to collect encounter data collected for Medicare beneficiaries in managed care plans.
  • NCHS has re-engineered internal processing for birth and death records and is developing a quarterly report for a select group of health indicators to be published within six months of the birth/death event.
  • SAMHSA is working on a remote data analysis system for analysts to access variables not available on public use files (State codes) without accessing the restricted-use file.
  • All HHS agencies will continue to expand their efforts to provide access to their extensive data resources through outlets such as Data.Gov, HealthData.Gov, and the Health Indicators Warehouse.