National Center for Health Statistics; programs and activities-- monitoring the nation's health
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National Center for Health Statistics; programs and activities-- monitoring the nation's health

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  • Description:
    The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is a unique public resource for health information. As the Nation’s principal health statistics agency, NCHS provides statistical information to guide actions and policies to improve the health of the American people. NCHS's mission is to monitor America’s health, and our activities mirror the multi-faceted aspects of health care. NCHS surveys and data systems provide fundamental public health and health policy statistics that meet the needs of a wide range of users. NCHS data are used to track changes in health and health care, particularly as major changes are occurring in private markets and in Federal and State policy. NCHS provides mechanisms for obtaining consistent, uniform statistics that allow for comparison across population groups, types of health care providers, and States; for planning, targeting, and assessing the effectiveness of public health programs, and for identifying health problems, risk factors, and disease patterns. This type of information is important to understanding trends that allow NCHS to anticipate the future directions in the health care system and in health behaviors. In 1960 the National Office of Vital Statistics and the National Health Survey merged to form NCHS. Since 1987 NCHS has been a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Under Sections 304, 306, and 308 of the Public Health Service Act, NCHS has legislative authority for its programs. The Act authorizes data collection, analysis, and dissemination of a broad range of health and health-related areas and provides specific legislative authority to enable the Center to protect the confidentiality of information received in its surveys. In addition the Act provides for NCHS to undertake and support research, demonstrations, and evaluations regarding survey methods and to provide technical assistance to State and local jurisdictions.
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