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Access to Confidential Data

How to access microdata that are not included in public-use files

Our public use files are designed to permit the widest possible dissemination while still protecting the confidentiality of all of our respondents and their patients. Because of concerns related to confidentiality, some data, including variables needed to link data to external sources, are not included in public use files.

For researchers who want to use data from the National Health Care Surveys and who need data items that are not available on the downloadable public use microdata files, the Research Data Center (RDC) at the National Center for Health Statistics is an alternative. Researchers must submit a proposal to be reviewed by NCHS staff. Fees are charged for accessing this data. More information is available at the Research Data Center (RDC) website.

To determine what variables are available at the RDC for a particular survey, please review the documentation for the survey of interest.