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Health Care Survey of DoD Beneficiaries (HCSDB) Overview

The Defense Health Agency (DHA) of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) continuously assesses the health care experiences of military health system (MHS) beneficiaries as part of our process for evaluating the quality of health care services of our military community. The Health Care Survey of Department of Defense Beneficiaries (HCSDB) is the principal tool with which DHA monitors the opinions and experiences of MHS beneficiaries directly. The goal of the HCSDB is to provide performance feedback that is actionable and that will aid in improving overall beneficiary satisfaction.

This web site presents the HCSDB survey results of beneficiaries’ experiences with health care and health plans. The site offers 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, information is provided on beneficiaries' satisfaction with their doctors, health care, health plan and the health care staff's communication and customer service efforts.

The survey is conducted every October, January and April each year to a sample of all DoD beneficiaries worldwide.

DHA relies on civilian benchmark data to compare the performance of its Military Treatment Facilities and network providers both internally and externally to the MHS. As a result, the HCSDB protocols are closely modeled on the Consumer Assessment of Health Provider and Systems (CAHPS®) Health Plan Survey sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services. CAHPS® is a nationally recognized set of standardized questions and is used to collect and report meaningful, reliable information about the health care experiences of consumers. HHS then provides national benchmark data to facilitate comparisons of CAHPS survey results by and among health plans. More information on CAHPS® can be obtained at cahps.ahrq.gov/.

The majority of question items address the domains of beneficiary experience, such as getting care quickly, communication with doctors, and overall satisfaction with health care and with the health plan. The survey is further expanded to include supplemental DoD questions addressing areas of particular interest to senior leadership that may change with each quarterly fielding. And finally, rounding out the instrument, is a set of questions collecting demographic data.