The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering integrating its National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) into the National Hospital Care Survey in an effort "to increase the wealth of data on healthcare utilization in hospitals across episodes of care and to allow for linkages to other data sources such as the National Death Index" and data from the CMS, according to a notice scheduled to be published in Tuesday's Federal Register (PDF).
CDC seeks tweaks to healthcare-use surveys
The NHAMCS has been used to collect data from hospital emergency and outpatient departments since 1992 and on hospital-based ambulatory surgery locations since 2009. The CDC is proposing to conduct a 30-hospital "pretest" next year for data-collection procedures in the integration that would include facility-level data collected through in-person interviews on visit volume, number of treatment areas and use of electronic health-record systems.
It also proposes sampling about 100 patient visits to ambulatory emergency departments, 200 patient visits to ambulatory outpatient visits and 100 patient visits to ambulatory surgical locations. In the process, it would gather names, addresses and Social Security numbers as well as admission and discharge dates, reason for visits, diagnoses, diagnostic services, procedures, medications and providers seen. "Patient visit data will be abstracted by field representatives of the data collection agent," according to the notice.
The CDC also is looking to collect information on drug-related emergency department visits. This part of the pretest would be funded by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Administration and would be used to assess the feasibility of integrating the Drug Abuse Warning Network into the National Hospital Care Survey, or NHCS, according to the notice.
Lastly, in an effort jointly sponsored by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the National Cancer Institute, the pretest will assess the feasibility of collecting colorectal cancer-screening information when a colonoscopy is done during an ambulatory surgery visit.
Comments will be collected on the proposal for the next 60 days. People interested in commenting can send them to [email protected].
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