Health Care Surveys
Protecting Your Privacy
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) assures the confidentiality of all data provided from a facility or provider. The National Health Care Surveys are a family of surveys that include the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, including the Health Center Component; the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey; the National Hospital Care Survey; and the National Post-acute and Long-term Care Study. These surveys allow sample data from organizations that provide care (e.g., health centers, home health agencies, hospitals, and physician offices) to be collected on a national level. NCHS protects the data received by following our rigorous confidentiality standards.
All information relating to or describing identifiable characteristics of patients, providers, and facilities is only used for statistical purposes. The results of each survey will only be published in an aggregated manner.
NCHS takes these steps to protect your confidential information:
- Every NCHS employee, contractor, and agent must take annual training on confidentiality requirements and practices.
- Every NCHS employee, contractor, and agent must sign a sworn affidavit to protect your privacy. Any NCHS employee, contractor, or agent in violation of these terms could be subject to imprisonment for up to 5 years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both if they willfully disclose ANY identifiable information.
- Every NCHS employee, contractor, and agent must follow privacy and protection laws, including the Privacy Act of 1974external icon, the Public Health Service Actpdf icon, and the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Actpdf iconexternal icon.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, allows disclosure of protected health information to public health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention without patient authorization. The NCHS Ethics Review Board reviews the content of the surveys to ensure compliance with NCHS practices and procedures. If you have questions about this study, please contact the Ethics Review Board 1–800–223–8118.
Participation in any of the National Health Care Surveys is voluntary.
Additional details on confidentiality and participation can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions page and in the letters listed below: