[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 193 (Wednesday, October 5, 2011)]
[Pages 61707-61709]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-25693]



Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Agency Information 
Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

AGENCY: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HHS.

ACTION: Notice.


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: ``Evaluation of the Technical Assistance to ARRA Complex 
Patient Grantees Project.'' In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction 
Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521, AHRQ invites the public to comment on this 
proposed information collection.
    This proposed information collection was previously published in 
the Federal Register on August 3rd, 2011, and allowed 60 days for 
public comment. No comments were received. The purpose of this notice 
is to allow an additional 30 days for public comment.

DATES: Comments on this notice must be received by November 4, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be submitted to: AHRQ's OMB Desk 
Officer by fax at (202) 395-6974 (attention: AHRQ's desk officer) or by 
e-mail at OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov (attention: AHRQ's desk 
    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.

Clearance Officer, (301) 427-1477, or by e-mail at 


Proposed Project

    Evaluation of the Technical Assistance to ARRA Complex Patient 
Grantees Project Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 
(ARRA) of 2009, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) 
awarded $473 million in grants and contracts to support patient-
centered outcomes research. As part of this investment, AHRQ funded 
fourteen R21 (exploratory) grants and thirteen R24 (infrastructure 
development) grants to generate new knowledge on individuals with 
multiple chronic conditions. This work is critical to improve the 
understanding of how to prioritize evidence-based services for patients 
with multiple co-morbidities and to suggest appropriate adaptations to 
guidelines for their care.
    In order to support the R21 and R24 complex patient grantees, AHRQ 
funded a Learning Network and Technical Assistance Center (LN&TAC) to 
encourage collaboration among the researchers and help them share 
research methods, definitions and products through in-person meetings, 
small workgroups and network facilitation. The LN&TAC will provide the 
grantees with technical assistance regarding research design, data 
collection, data analysis, public use dataset development, and 
    Through the LN&TAC, AHRQ will support work to:
    (1) Create and support a Learning Network of the complex patient 
grantees to facilitate advancement of infrastructure development, as 
well as to leverage developments and learning across the program. The 
Learning Network will give these grantees the opportunity to share 
information with and learn from other research teams, provide resources 
for data management and other research-related issues, and synthesize 
and disseminate findings that transcend individual projects.
    (2) Provide both group and individual technical assistance to 
grantees as they address issues of ARRA reporting, infrastructure 
development, data sharing, and creation of public use data sets.
    (3) Disseminate results, including developing materials targeted to 
researchers and policy-makers to describe study results and facilitate 
future use of newly created datasets. This will include a marketing 
plan to advertise availability of datasets and promote their use.
    (4) Develop and implement an evaluation of the above activities 
throughout the project.
    The purpose of this Information Collection Request is to evaluate 
the effectiveness of the LN&TAC. The goals of the evaluation are to:
    (1) Ascertain whether expected outcomes of the LN&TAC were 
    (2) Assess whether the LN&TAC met the needs and expectations of the 
    (3) Identify challenges and lessons learned, and determine the 
feasibility and advisability of developing similar project models in 
the future. This study is being conducted by AHRQ through its 
contractor, Abt Associates, pursuant to AHRQ' s statutory authority to 
``conduct and support research, evaluations, and training, support 
demonstration projects, research networks and multidisciplinary 
centers, provide technical assistance, and disseminate information on 
health care and on systems for the delivery of such care, including 
activities with respect to the quality, effectiveness, efficiency, 
appropriateness and value of health care services.'' 42 U.S.C. 

Method of Collection

    To meet the goals of this evaluation the following data collections 
will be implemented:
    (1) LN Meeting Evaluation--Grantees who attend the three annual in-
person Learning Network meetings will be asked to complete the LN 
Meeting Evaluation to provide immediate feedback about their level of 
satisfaction with the meeting (including session topics and speakers) 
and make suggestions about how the meeting could be improved.
    (2) Group TA Evaluation--Grantees who participate in group 
technical assistance activities, such as Webinars and the TA given at 
annual meetings, will be asked to complete the Group TA Evaluation to 
provide feedback about their level of satisfaction with the group TA 
(including session leader), how effective the TA was, and make 
suggestions about how the TA session could have been better.

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    (3) Individual TA Evaluation--Grantees who request individual 
technical assistance will be asked to complete the Individual TA 
Evaluation to provide feedback about their level of satisfaction with 
the TA (including session leader), how effective the TA was, and make 
suggestions about how the TA session could have been better.
    (4) Annual Survey--All 27 Complex Patient grantees will be asked to 
complete the Annual Survey once a year. This survey is designed to 
measure whether, due to their participation in the project, grantees 
have experienced changes in knowledge, confidence or attitudes related 
to research activities and grant requirements, changes in their 
research itself (design, methods, and/or analyses), and/or if 
participation has increased collaboration (e.g., sharing methods, 
developing new coding, merging data sets) among the Complex Patient 
researchers, as well as satisfaction with the LN&TAC in general.
    (5) Annual Interview--The Annual Interview will be administered 
with a small subset of 5 grantees per year, and will be used to augment 
the Annual Survey with more in-depth qualitative data. Therefore, 
similar questions will be asked in the Annual Interview as are asked in 
the Annual Survey, but the interview will allow for probing and 
clarification of answers. Different grantees will be asked to 
participate in the interview each year, such that no grantee 
participates in the Annual Interview more than once during the three-
year contract.
    These evaluation instruments are designed to capture a combination 
of quantitative and qualitative data. No claim is made that the results 
from this study will be generalizable in the statistical sense. Rather, 
this evaluation is aimed at determining the effectiveness of this 
particular program.

Estimated Annual Respondent Burden

    Exhibit 1 shows the estimated annualized burden hours for the 
grantees' time to participate in the surveys and interviews. The LN 
Meeting Evaluation will be completed by about 22 grantees and takes 
about 20 minutes to complete. The Group TA Evaluation will be completed 
by 8 grantees 4 times a year, although not necessarily the same 8 
persons each time, and will take 5 minutes to complete. The Individual 
TA Evaluation will be completed by about 15 grantees annually and takes 
5 minutes to complete. The Annual Survey will be completed by 22 
grantees and will take about 10 minutes to complete. Annual Interviews 
will be conducted with 5 persons annually and will last 45 minutes. The 
total annualized burden hours are estimated to be 19 hours.
    Exhibit 2 shows the estimated annualized cost burden for the 
grantees' time to provide the requested data. The estimated total cost 
burden is about $774.

                                  Exhibit 1--Estimated Annualized Burden Hours
                                                                     Number of
                    Form name                        Number of     responses per     Hours per     Total burden
                                                    respondents     respondent       response          hours
LN Meeting Evaluation...........................              22               1           20/60               7
Group TA Evaluation.............................               8               4            5/60               3
Individual TA Evaluation........................              15               1            5/60               1
Annual Survey...................................              22               1           10/60               4
Annual Interview................................               5               1           45/60               4
    Total.......................................              72              na              na              19

                                   Exhibit 2--Estimated Annualized Cost Burden
                    Form name                        Number of     Total burden     hourly wage     Total cost
                                                    respondents        hours          rate *
LN Meeting Evaluation...........................              22               7          $40.75            $285
Group TA Evaluation.............................               8               3           40.75             122
Individual TA Evaluation........................              15               1           40.75              41
Annual Survey...................................              22               4           40.75             163
Annual Interview................................               5               4           40.75             163
    Total.......................................              72              19           40.75             774
* Based upon the mean hourly wage rate for Medical Scientists, except Epidemiologists, from the National
  Compensation Survey: Occupational Wages in the United States May 2009, ``U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of
  Labor Statistics,'' accessed on April 26, 2011.

Estimated Annual Costs to the Federal Government

    The total cost of this contract to the government is $178,137 over 
the three years of the project (September 27, 2010, to September 26, 
2013). Therefore, the annualized cost to the government of the 
evaluation of the Complex Patient LN&TAC is $59,379.

             Exhibit 3--Estimated Total and Annualized Cost
             Cost component                 Total cost         cost
Project Development.....................         $70,247         $23,416
Data Collection Activities..............          54,636          18,212

[[Page 61709]]

Data Processing and Analysis............          31,220          10,406
Overhead................................          22,034           7,345
    Total...............................         178,137          59,379

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 health care research and 
health care 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: September 26, 2011.
Carolyn M. Clancy,
[FR Doc. 2011-25693 Filed 10-4-11; 8:45 am]