[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 126 (Thursday, June 30, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 38397-38399]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-16213]


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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

[[Page 38398]]

Budget (OMB) approve the proposed information collection project: 
``Medical Expenditure Panel Survey--Insurance Component 2012-2013.'' In 
accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521, AHRQ 
invites the public to comment on this proposed information collection.

DATES: Comments on this notice must be received by August 29, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be submitted to: Doris Lefkowitz, 
Reports Clearance Officer, AHRQ, by e-mail at 
doris.lefkowitz@AHRO.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

Medical Expenditure Panel Survey--Insurance Component 2012-2013

    Employer-sponsored health insurance is the source of coverage for 
85 million current and former workers, plus many of their family 
members, and is a cornerstone of the U.S. health care system. The 
Medical Expenditure Panel Survey--Insurance Component (MEPS-IC) 
measures the extent, cost, and coverage of employer-sponsored health 
insurance on an annual basis. These statistics are produced at the 
National, State, and sub-State (metropolitan area) level for private 
industry. Statistics are also produced for State and Local governments.
    This research has the following goals:
    (1) To provide data for Federal policymakers evaluating the effects 
of National and State health care reforms;
    (2) To provide descriptive data on the current employer-sponsored 
health insurance system and data for modeling the differential impacts 
of proposed health policy initiatives; and
    (3) To supply critical State and National estimates of health 
insurance spending for the National Health Accounts and Gross Domestic 
Product.
    This study is being conducted by AHRQ through an interagency 
agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau and pursuant to AHRQ's statutory 
authority to conduct surveys to collect data on the cost, use and 
quality of health care, including the types and costs of private health 
insurance. 42 U.S.C. 299b-2(a).

Method of Collection

    To achieve the goals of this project the following data collections 
for both private sector and state and local government employers will 
be implemented:
    (1) Prescreener Questionnaire--The purpose of the Prescreener 
Questionnaire, which is collected via telephone, varies depending on 
the insurance status of the establishment contacted. (Establishment is 
defined as a single, physical location in the private sector and a 
governmental unit in state and local governments.) For establishments 
that do not offer health insurance to their employees, the prescreener 
is used to collect basic information such as number of employees. 
Collection is completed for these establishments through this telephone 
call. For establishments that do offer health insurance, contact name 
and address information is collected that is used for the mailout of 
the establishment and plan questionnaires. Obtaining this contact 
information helps ensure that the questionnaires are directed to the 
person in the establishment best equipped to complete them.
    (2) Establishment Questionnaire--The purpose of the mailed 
Establishment Questionnaire is to obtain general information from 
employers that provide health insurance to their employees. Information 
such as total active enrollment in health insurance, other employee 
benefits, waiting periods, and retiree health insurance is collected 
through the establishment questionnaire.
    (3) Plan Questionnaire--The purpose of the mailed Plan 
Questionnaire is to collect plan-specific information on each plan (up 
to four plans) offered by establishments that provide health insurance 
to their employees. This questionnaire obtains information on total 
premiums, employer and employee contributions to the premium, and plan 
enrollment for each type of coverage offered--single, employee-plus-
one, and family--within a plan. It also asks for information on 
deductibles, copays, and other plan characteristics. This information 
is needed in order to provide the tools for Federal, State, and 
academic researchers to evaluate current and proposed health policies 
and to support the production of important statistical measures for 
other Federal agencies.

Estimated Annual Respondent Burden

    Exhibit 1 shows the estimated annualized burden hours for the 
respondent's time to provide the requested data. The Prescreener 
questionnaire will be completed by 31,552 respondents and takes about 
5\1/2\ minutes to complete. The Establishment questionnaire will be 
completed by 25,839 respondents and takes about 23 minutes to complete. 
The Plan questionnaire will be completed by 23,230 respondents and will 
require an average of 2.1 responses per respondent. Each Plan 
questionnaire takes about 11 minutes to complete. The total annualized 
burden hours are estimated to be 21,440 hours.
    Exhibit 2 shows the estimated annualized cost burden associated 
with the respondents' time to participate in this data collection. The 
annualized cost burden is estimated to be $614,256.

                                  Exhibit 1--Estimated Annualized Burden Hours
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                                                                     Number of
                    Form name                        Number of     responses per     Hours per     Total burden
                                                    respondents     respondent       response          hours
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Prescreener Questionnaire.......................          31,552               1            0.09           2,840
Establishment Questionnaire.....................          25,839               1            0.38           9,819
Plan Questionnaire..............................          23,230             2.1            0.18           8,781
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................          80,621              na              na          21,440
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                                   Exhibit 2--Estimated Annualized Cost Burden
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                                                     Number of     Total burden   Average hourly    Total cost
                    Form name                       respondents        hours        wage rate*        burden
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Prescreener Questionnaire.......................          31,552           2,840           28.65         $81,366
Establishment Questionnaire.....................          25,839           9,819           28.65         281,314
Plan Questionnaire..............................          23,230           8,781           28.65         251,576
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................................          80,621          21,440              na        $614,256
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* Based upon the mean hourly wage for Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists occupation code 13-
  1141, at http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#13-0000 (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor
  Statistics.)

Estimated Annual Costs to the Federal Government

    Exhibit 3 shows the estimated annualized cost of this data 
collection. The total cost over the 2 years of this clearance is 
$22,954,000.

             Exhibit 3--Estimated Total and Annualized Cost
                              [$ thousands]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              Annualized
                Cost component                   Total cost      cost
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Project Development...........................       $3,338       $1,669
Data Collection Activities....................        7,789        3,895
Data Processing and Analysis..................        7,789        3,895
Project Management............................        2,925        1,463
Overhead......................................        1,113          557
                                               -------------------------
    Total.....................................      $22,954      $11,477
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Note: Components may not sum to Total due to rounding.

Request for Comments

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, 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 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: June 17, 2011.
Carolyn M. Clancy,
Director.
[FR Doc. 2011-16213 Filed 6-29-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4160-90-M