[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 8 (Wednesday, January 12, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 2121-2123]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-405]


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DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality


Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; 
Comment Request

AGENCY: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HHS.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces the intention of the Agency for 
Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to request that the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) approve the proposed information collection 
project: ``Questionnaire and Data Collection Testing, Evaluation, and 
Research for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.'' In 
accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520, AHIRQ 
invites the public to comment on this proposed information collection.

DATES: Comments on this notice must be received by March 14, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be submitted to: Doris Lefkowitz, 
Reports Clearance Officer, AHRQ, by e-mail at 
doris.lefkowitz@AHRQ.hhs.gov.
    Copies of the proposed collection plans, data collection 
instruments, and specific details on the estimated burden can be 
obtained from the AHRQ Reports Clearance Officer.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Doris Lefkowitz, AHRQ Reports 
Clearance Officer, (301) 427-1477, or by e-mail at 
doris.lefkowitz@AHRQ.hhs.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Proposed Project

Questionnaire and Data Collection Testing, Evaluation, and Research for 
the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) requests that 
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) re-approve generic pre-
testing clearance 0935-0124 for three years to facilitate AHRQ's 
efforts to (1) employ evaluation-type methods and techniques to improve 
AHRQ's current data collection and estimation procedures, (2) develop 
new collections and procedures, including toolkits, and (3) revise 
existing collections and procedures. AHRQ uses techniques to simplify 
data collection and estimation procedures, reduce respondent burden, 
and improve efficiencies to meet the needs of individuals and small 
business respondents who may have reduced budgets and staff. AHRQ 
believes that developing, testing, and evaluating data collection and 
estimation procedures using survey methods and other techniques in 
anticipation of agency-sponsored studies can improve its information 
collection efforts and the products it develops and allow AHRQ to be 
more responsive to fast-changing developments in the healthcare 
research field.
    This clearance request is limited to research on data collection, 
toolkit development, and estimation procedures and reports and does not 
extend to the collection of data for public release or policy 
formation. The current clearance was granted on April 3rd 2008 and 
expires on April 30th, 2011.
    This generic clearance will allow AHRQ to draft and test toolkits, 
survey instruments and other data collection and estimation procedures 
more quickly and with greater lead time, thereby managing project time 
more efficiently and improving the quality of the data AHRQ collects. 
In some instances, the ability to test and evaluate toolkits, data 
collection and estimation procedures in anticipation of work or early 
in a project may result in the decision not to proceed with additional 
activities, thereby saving both public and private resources and 
effectively eliminating respondent burden.
    Many of the tools AHRQ develops are made available to the private 
sector to assist in improving health care quality. The health and 
health care environment

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changes rapidly and requires a quick response from AHRQ to provide 
refined tools. This generic clearance will facilitate AHRQ' s response 
to this changing environment.
    These preliminary research activities will not be used by AHRQ to 
regulate or sanction its customers. They will be entirely voluntary and 
the confidentiality of respondents and their responses will be 
preserved. Proposed information collections submitted under this 
generic clearance will be reviewed and acted upon by OMB within 14 days 
of submission to OMB.

Method of Collection

    The information collected through preliminary research activities 
will be used by AHRQ to employ techniques to (1) improve AHRQ's current 
data collection and estimation procedures, (2) develop new collections 
and procedures, including toolkits, and (3) revise existing collections 
and procedures in anticipation or in response to changes in the health 
or health care field. The end result will be improvement in AHRQ's data 
collections and procedures and the quality of data collected, a 
reduction or minimization of respondent burden, increased agency 
efficiency, and improved responsiveness to the public.

Estimated Annual Respondent Burden

    Exhibit 1 shows the estimated burden hours, over the full 3 years 
of this clearance, for the respondents' time to participate in the 
research activities that may be conducted under this generic clearance. 
Mail surveys will be conducted with about 6,000 persons (2,000 per year 
for 3 years) and are estimated to average 20 minutes. Mail surveys may 
also be sent to respondents via e-mail, and may include a telephone 
non-response follow-up. Telephone non-response follow-up for mailed 
surveys is not counted as a telephone survey in Exhibit 1. Not more 
than 600 persons, over 3 years, will participate in telephone surveys 
that will take about 40 minutes. Web-based surveys will be conducted 
with no more than 3,000 persons and will require no more than 10 
minutes to complete. About 1,500 persons will participate in focus 
groups which may last up to two hours, while in-person interviews will 
be conducted with 600 persons and will take about 50 minutes. Automated 
data collection will be conducted for about 1,500 persons and could 
take up to 1 hour. Cognitive testing will be conducted with about 600 
persons and is estimated to take 1 \1/2\ hours to complete. The total 
burden over 3 years is estimated to be 8,900 hours (about 2,967 hours 
per year).
    Exhibit 2 shows the estimated cost burden over 3 years, based on 
the respondent's time to participate in these research activities. The 
total cost burden is estimated to be $298,239.

                                 Exhibit 1--Estimated Burden Hours Over 3 Years
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                                                                     Number of
         Type of information collection              Number of     responses per     Hours per     Total burden
                                                    respondents     respondent       response          hours
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mail/e-mail \*\.................................           6,000               1           20/60           2,000
Telephone.......................................             600               1           40/60             400
Web-based.......................................           3,000               1           10/60             500
Focus Groups....................................           1,500               1             2.0           3,000
In-person.......................................             600               1             1.0             600
Automated \**\..................................           1,500               1             1.0           1,500
Cognitive Testing \***\.........................             600               1             1.5             900
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Totals......................................          13,800              na              na          8,900
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\*\ May include telephone non-response follow-up in which case the burden will not change.
\**\ May include testing of database software, CAPI software or other automated technologies.
\***\ May include cognitive interviews for questionnaire or toolkit development, or ``think aloud'' testing of
  prototype Web sites.


                                  Exhibit 2--Estimated Cost Burden Over 3 Years
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                                                     Number of     Total burden   Average hourly    Total cost
         Type of information collection             respondents        hours       wage rate \*\      burden
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mail/e-mail.....................................           6,000           2,000          $33.51         $67,020
Telephone.......................................             600             400           33.51          13,404
Web-based.......................................           3,000             500           33.51          16,755
Focus Groups....................................           1,500           3,000           33.51         100,530
In-person.......................................             600             600           33.51          20,106
Automated \**\..................................           1,500           1,500           33.51          50,265
Cognitive Testing \***\.........................             600             900           33.51          30,159
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Totals......................................          13,800           8,900              na        298,239
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\*\ Based upon the average wages for 29-000 (Healthcare Practitioner and Technical Occupations), ``National
  Compensation Survey: Occupational Wages in the United States, May 2009,'' U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of
  Labor Statistics.

Estimated Annual Costs to the Federal Government

    Information collections conducted under this generic clearance will 
in some cases be carried out under contract. Assuming four data 
collections per year (either mail/e-mail, telephone, Web based or in-
person) at an average cost of $150,000 each, and two focus groups, 
automated data collections or lab experiments at an average cost of 
$20,000 each, total contract costs could be $640,000 per year.

Request for Comments

    In accordance with the above-cited Paperwork Reduction Act 
legislation, comments on AHRQ's information collection are requested 
with regard to any of the following: (a) Whether the proposed 
collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of

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AHRQ healthcare research and healthcare information dissemination 
functions, including whether the information will have practical 
utility; (b) the accuracy of AHRQ's estimate of burden (including hours 
and costs) of the proposed collection(s) of information; (c) ways to 
enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be 
collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of 
information upon the respondents, including the use of automated 
collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized 
and included in the Agency's subsequent request for OMB approval of the 
proposed information collection. All comments will become a matter of 
public record.

    Dated: January 4, 2011.
Carolyn M. Clancy,
Director.
[FR Doc. 2011-405 Filed 1-11-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4160-90-M