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Designing the National Hospital Care Survey
Karishma Anand, Nat.Center for Health Statistics 
*Carol J. DeFrances, Nat. Center for Health Statistics 
Sonja N. Williams, Nat. Center for Health Statstics 
David A. Woodwell, Nat. Center for Health Statistics 

Keywords: hospital care, ambulatory care, survey integration

The National Center for Health Statistics has launched the National Hospital Care Survey (NHCS), which integrates the National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) and the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS). NHDS and NHAMCS are the principal sources of nationally representative samples of utilization of hospital inpatient (NHDS) and ambulatory departments (NHAMCS), including outpatient and emergency departments as well as hospital and freestanding ambulatory surgery centers. NHCS will be implemented in two phases. The first phase, currently underway, is to recruit a new sample of 500 hospitals. Participating hospitals will be asked to submit Uniform Bill (UB)-04 administrative claims data for all inpatients. The second phase will occur in January 2013 and will integrate NHAMCS with the inpatient component. NHCS will continue to provide the nationally representative estimates and trends that NHDS and NHAMCS currently provide. However, the new survey has some strategic advantages. This paper will describe the process and challenges of integrating two surveys with similar frames but different objectives and the opportunities presented by the integration.