|The National Health
Care Survey (NHCS), a family of surveys conducted by the National Center for Health
Statistics (NCHS), provides national data based on records from samples of health care
providers -- including short-stay hospitals, hospital outpatient and emergency
departments, physicians, ambulatory surgical centers, nursing homes, hospices, and home
health agencies. The survey is a source of a wide range of data on health care and is a
significant resource for monitoring health care use, the impact of medical technology, and
the quality of care provided to a changing American population. The NHCS includes the
following NCHS surveys, some of which are conducted annually and some periodically: The
National Hospital Discharge Survey, the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, the
National Survey of Ambulatory Surgery, the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care
Survey, the National Nursing Home Survey, the National Home and Hospice Care Survey, and
the National Health Provider Inventory (formerly the National Master Facility Inventory).
Information on the use of health services is also collected in the population-based
surveys of NCHS, such as the National Health Interview Survey. Different health services
variables will be featured periodically on the Social Statistics Briefing Room.
Many of these statistics have been published in the annual report Health, United
States, a report on the health status of the Nation submitted by the Secretary of
Health and Human Services to the President and the Congress. For more detailed information
on data collection, publications, and public-use data files, go to the NCHS home page.