State and Local Area Integrated Telephone Survey

About the State and Local Area Integrated Telephone Survey

The State and Local Area Integrated Telephone Survey (SLAITS) collects important health care data at State and local levels. This data collection mechanism was developed by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It supplements current national data collection strategies by providing in-depth State and local area data to meet various program and policy needs in an ever-changing health care system.

SLAITS is funded through sponsorship of specific questionnaire modules. Sponsors include both government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Just as public and private organizations collaborate in the planning and delivery of health care services, SLAITS facilitates additional collaboration leading to more complete data for informed public health policy decisions. Decision makers require high quality health data to develop and implement programs and policies.

Much data exists at national and regional levels but are not available at State and local levels. National data are useful for establishing public health priorities for the country; however, much demographic and geographic diversity exists throughout the Nation. Data specific to certain groups or populations are useful in answering certain questions, as well as measuring strengths and weaknesses within programmatic areas at subnational levels. SLAITS provides a mechanism to collect data quickly on a broad range of topics at the national, State, and local levels. A partial list of examples of research areas include health insurance coverage, access to care, perceived health status, utilization of services, and measurement of child well-being.

SLAITS uses the same Random-Digit-Dial (RDD) telephone design approach and sampling frame as the ongoing National Immunization Survey (NIS) conducted by CDC. Data are collected at telephone centers in different parts of the United States by our current contracting agency, NORC. Whereas the initial 3 years of pilot testing of this survey mechanism were funded by the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaulation, Department of Health and Human Services, SLAITS is now available to other government and nonprofit agencies that require high quality data at State and local levels. Staff from the SLAITS program are available to meet with organizations to help identify how SLAITS can provide specific data.

Frequently Asked Questions

Key Features of the SLAITS Mechanism

  • Uses the sampling frame from the NIS, an ongoing telephone survey that screens nearly one million households per year to produce estimates of vaccination coverage levels among children age 19-35 months.
  • Uses standardized questions to produce comparative data across States and for the Nation.
  • Addresses State-specific data needs with customized questions and specific domains of interest.
  • Targets population subgroups such as persons with specific health conditions or from low-income households.
  • Provides estimates adjusted for non-coverage of households without telephones.
  • Provides for rapid implementation and quick turnaround of data, permitting the tracking of changes in health and welfare-related programs.