To fulfill 1993 National Defense Authorization Act requirements, the Health Care Survey of Department of Defense Beneficiaries (HCSDB) was developed by the TRICARE Management Activity. Conducted continuously since 1995, the HCSDB was designed to provide a comprehensive look at beneficiary opinions about their Department fo Defense (DoD) health care benefits.
The HCSDB is comprised of two distinct surveys, the Adult and Child HCSDB, and both are conducted as large-scale mailed surveys. The Adult HCSDB is conducted once per calendar quarter every January, April, July, and October to a sample of all DoD beneficiaries worldwide. The Child HCSDB is conducted annually in the third quarter in July to a sample of DoD beneficiaries in the continental U.S. only.
Both surveys provide information on a wide range of health care issues such as the beneficiaries' ease of access to health care and preventative care services. In addition, the surveys provide information on beneficiaries' satisfaction with their doctors, health care, health plan and the health care staff's communication and customer service efforts.
HCSDB questions on satisfaction with and access to health care have been closely modeled on the Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Survey (CAHPS®) program. CAHPS® is a nationally recognized set of standardized questions and reporting formats that has been used to collect and report meaningful, reliable information about the health care experiences of consumers. Because of the HCSDB uses CAHPS® questions, TRICARE (DoD's health plan) can be benchmarked to civilian managed care health plans. More information on CAHPS® can be obtained at www.ahrq.gov/