Your Privacy

Everything you tell the interviewer is confidential. Your information is used ONLY for statistical research. ALL information that could identify you or your family is removed from the data. After that, analysts use your data for scientific reports and to guide public health decisions.

How are NHIS data and reports released to the public?

The information you provide is combined with information from thousands of other survey participants to create public data files. These files have no information that identifies who took the survey.
These data identify trends in health and access to health care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, universities, and other researchers publish findings using NHIS data in scientific reports that expand knowledge and inspire change.

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Click here for more information about how your data is used.

How is my information kept safe?

Your personal information is always confidential. In fact, the National Center for Health Statistics, which manages the survey, is bound by strict federal laws to protect all of your information. These laws include the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a; the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. § 242m (d); and the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (CIPSEA), Title 5 of Public Law 107–347.

Everyone who works with your information signs a sworn affidavit. This means it is against the law for them to share your private information. Anyone who shares information about you can be fined up to $250,000, lose their job, and go to jail for up to 5 years.
Your information is combined with the information from more than 20,000 other people. The data are used to produce statistics that describe the health of the U.S. population. NHIS does not give your private information to anyone. Your private information cannot be shared even if a subpoena or Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. § 552) request is received.
The ability of NHIS to keep your information safe is one reason why people like you take part in this survey. The questions you answer help provide accurate information about the health of the U.S. population.