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National Hospital Care Survey

About NHCS

The National Hospital Care Survey (NHCS) is a new survey that describes national patterns of health care delivery in hospital-based settings, including inpatient departments, emergency and outpatient departments (EDs and OPDs), and hospital-based ambulatory surgery locations (ASLs) and freestanding ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). Data are collected on hospitals, their patients, and their care, providing national estimates of service use and allowing health care decision makers, policy makers, and researchers to track the latest trends affecting hospitals and health care organizations, to study relationships between the organization and delivery of health care, and to benchmark hospitals against the national data.

NHCS has integrated data collected from the National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) and the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS). A new sample of hospitals is being recruited for this survey. Hospitals are providing data on all inpatients from their administrative claims database. Data on hospital characteristics is also being collected. Over the next year, hospitals will begin to provide data on the utilization of health care provided in their EDs, OPDs, and hospital-based ASLs. Additionally, a sample of freestanding ASCs will be recruited and inducted.

NHCS will continue to provide nationally representative data on utilization of hospital inpatient care and care delivered in EDs, OPDs, and hospital-based ASLs and/or freestanding ASCs. For the first time, patient-level identifiers will be collected which will allow a patient’s episodes of care to be linked between different hospital inpatient and outpatient settings.  Linkage of patients will be made to the National Death Index to measure post-discharge mortality, as well as to the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) and Medicaid Statistical Information System (MSIS) datasets. Obtaining all inpatient administrative claims data from a hospital will make it possible to sample hospital discharges with specific diagnoses and procedures in order to conduct special studies that will use medical record abstraction to collect more specific clinical data.


Selected Participants

Has your hospital been selected to take part in the National Hospital Care Survey?


NHCS Secure Transfer System

Participating hospitals, are you ready to upload your 837 data?  This link will take you straight to our Secure Data Transfer System maintained by Westat, an agent of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).


Questionnaires, Datasets, and Related Documentation

UB-04 administrative claims data for all inpatient records will be collected from a new sample of 500 hospitals.

Historical Microdata

To access historical microdata and related documentation for the National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) and the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) please follow the links below:


Survey Results and Products

For NHCS data:

Stay Tuned


For survey results and products produced by the National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) and the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) please follow the links below



National Hospital Care Survey

Contact Us:
  • Dr. Carol DeFrances
    Team Leader
    Hospital Care Team
    National Center for Health Statistics
    3311 Toledo Road, Room 3230
    Hyattsville, MD 20782-2064
  • Phone: 301-458-4440
    Fax: 301-458-4693
  • The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
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