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This information is provided for historical purposes only. For updated CDC performance planning information, see the Performance and Accountability page on this website.

VI. Health Statistics

FY 2000 Performance Plan - Revised Final FY 1999 Performance Plan

CDC's National Center for Health Statistics provides STRONGleadership in monitoring the health of the American people and is a vital, unique resource for health information. As the Nation's principal health statistics agency, NCHS provides statistical information to guide actions and policies to improve health of Americans. In the current climate of dramatic change in the health system, such data become critically important and play a crucial role in public health and health policy. Unprecedented changes make investments in determining health status and monitoring health system structure, operation, quality, and effectiveness a clear priority. There is significant demand, as well as new opportunities, for using new approaches to monitoring, assessing, and evaluating key public health, health policy, and welfare policy changes. CDC is taking significant steps to improve the speed with which data are made available to researchers, policy makers, and the public. The National Vital Statistics System has greatly improved the timeliness of data which are highly relevant to health and welfare reform monitoring, through the introduction of a "preliminary" data set in 1996. Preliminary data, though less detailed, were released a full year ahead of the final data, affording policy makers an early view of major trends in births and deaths. Similarly, data from the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were released on a timetable that was nearly two years earlier than previous survey cycles. Continuing efforts to automate the collection of data, apply new data processing and analytic tools, and disseminate data more widely via the Internet will result in further improvements in timeliness and access.

NCHS represents an investment in broad-based, fundamental public health and health policy statistics that meets the needs of a wide range of users. This investment has important payoffs in:

  • Tracking change in health and health care, particularly as major changes are occurring in private markets and federal and state policy. NCHS provides mechanisms for obtaining consistent, uniform statistics that allow for comparison across population groups, types of health care providers, and states.

  • Planning, targeting, and assessing the effectiveness of public programs.
  • Identifying health problems, risk factors, and disease patterns.

Because these data are widely used to track current issues and make decisions, it is crucial that these data are as current and accessible as possible. The more current the data, the more likely it is that policy makers will base their decisions on information that accurately reflects the most recent developments in health and health care.

NCHS continually strives to meet priority data needs by improving ongoing surveys, developing new tools for monitoring health, and finding new ways to make data accessible to users. Important steps underway include the beginning of full field operation of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which fills an important gap in our knowledge of health by taking direct measurements in mobile examination centers that move around the U.S. Other steps include the capability to conduct state-level monitoring surveys using the State and Local Area Integrated telephone Survey (SLAITS). Efforts to improve the usability of NCHS data include improving timeliness, increasing access through the Internet, and facilitating research based on detailed, micro-data without jeopardizing confidentiality of our respondents.

Performance Goals and Measures

Performance Goal: Better anticipate the future directions of the health care system and health behaviors in order to design effective public health policy by:

  • Monitoring trends in the nation's health through high quality data systems addressing issues relevant to decision makers.
  • Reducing time lags for release of core data systems by 5% per year. With the additional initiative funding the overall objective is to reduce time lag of data release by 10% per year, which will be achieved over time--the interim reductions may not be achieved.
  • Making data more readily accessible to decision makers and researchers.
FY Baseline FY 1999 Appropriated FY 2000 Estimate
1. Baseline data used is the conduct of three major data systems in 1997. In 1999 a fourth (NHANES) major data system was returned to field operation.   1. Conduct ongoing surveys and data systems that produce detailed trend data needed for monitoring health.

2. Baseline data in 1998, no new targeted data collection efforts are being made.

2. The development of SLAITS, which includes conduct of a pretest in 3 test sites including one Indian Reservation, will be finalized. 1

2. Developing new monitoring tools needed to address emerging topics. With initiative funding in FY 2000, five targeted data collection efforts will be established to address emerging data needs.

3. N/A

3. The development of NHANES IV, including conduct of a pretest, will be finalized. 1

3. NHANES IV will have completed the first full year of data collection using newly automated survey, examination, and laboratory methods that will improve timeliness of data release.

4.The baseline for this measure is 6 months in 1996.

4.Monthly vital statistics reports will be available to be viewed, searched, and downloaded via the Internet within 4 months of data release. 1

4. Monthly vital statistics reports will be available to be viewed, searched, and downloaded via the Internet within 4 months of data release.

5. N/A.  

5. Release statistics in new formats to speed the release of data on high-priority topics (e.g., Teenage Births in the United States: National and State Trends 1990-96). Release 1 report in such format.

6. Baseline data is during 1998, NCHS data center was established with no researchers with access. With the increase in resources, in FY 2000 approximately 40 researchers will access the NCHS secure data center.

 

6. Establish an NCHS Data Center, which will allow non-NCHS researchers to access detailed data files in a secure environment, without jeopardizing the confidentiality of respondents.

7. Baseline data used is release of 1993 final mortality dat in 26 months which occurred in 1996 as published in Volume 44 no, 7: Supplement to the Monthly vital Statistics Report, dated February 29, 1996 "Advance Report of Final Mortality Statistics, 1993." Included in baseline data is the release of 1994 final natality data in 18 months which occurred in 1996 as published in Volume 44 no. 11: Supplement to the Monthly Vital Statistics Report, dated February 29, 1996 "Advance Report of Final Natality Statistics, 1994.". 7. Time lag in release of final Vital Statistics will be reduced by 1 month. 1 7. With the increased funding, time lag in release of final Vital Statistics will be reduced by 2 months. Currently, data are released within 21 months following the end of the data collection year.

8. Baseline data: In 1997 Health United States 1997 was published demonstrating various trends.

 

8. Produce reports and publications that document trends, issues, and problems in health.

Total Program Funding

$94,573

$109,573

1 FY 1999 measures were changed to reflect the increased funding for Health Statistics and to better represent the program activities.

Verification/Validation of Performance Measures: The National Center for Health Statistics will maintain administrative documentation that verify performance of these objectives through contractor reports, pretest reports, proceedings from meetings of scientific partners, copies of publications, and records of times data was available on the Internet.

Links to DHHS Strategic Plan

These performance measures are related to DHHS Goal 5: Improve public health systems. NCHS collaborates in the development of types of information collected with the HHS Data Council (charged by the Secretary to provide overall policy, guidance for HHS data activities), the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (the Secretary's outside advisory council on health statistics), representatives from the states and users of NCHS data in the public and private sectors. Close cooperation with state vital statistics offices assure timely reporting of data.

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