[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 212 (Wednesday, November 2, 2011)]
[Pages 67734-67736]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-28402]



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: ``MEPS Cancer Self Administrated Questionnaire.'' 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 January 3, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be submitted to: Doris Lefkowitz, 
Reports Clearance Officer, AHRQ, by email at 
[email protected].
    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 email at 
[email protected].


Proposed Project


    The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) is a nationally 
representative survey of the civilian noninstitutionalized population 
of all ages in the United States that collects comprehensive data on 
health care and health care expenditures from all payors (including 
private payors, Medicaid, the VA, and out-of-pocket) over a two-year 
period. The MEPS has been conducted annually since 1996. The OMB 
Control Number for the MEPS is 0935-0118, with an expiration date of 
January 31st, 2013. All of the supporting documents for the MEPS can be 
downloaded from http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewDocument?ref_nbr=200910-0935-001.
    The purpose of this request is to integrate the new self-
administered questionnaire (SAQ) entitled, ``Experiences with Cancer,'' 
into the MEPS. Once the SAQ is integrated it will be completed by MEPS 
participants identified as ever having cancer. The

[[Page 67735]]

Cancer SAQ will be included in the MEPS in 2012; it will be 
subsequently removed from the MEPS in 2013.
    The work is being conducted by AHRQ through its contractor, Westat, 
pursuant to AHRQ's statutory authority to conduct and support research 
on healthcare and on systems for the delivery of such care, including 
the use of surveys to collect data on the cost, use and quality of such 
care. 42 U.S.C. 299b-2; 42 U.S.C. 299a(a)(1), (2), (3), and (8).

Method of Collection

    MEPS respondents identified as having cancer will be given the 
paper questionnaire to complete themselves. If the cancer SAQ 
respondent is available at the time of the MEPS interview, we ask that 
he/she complete the SAQ and give it to the interviewer before she 
leaves the household after completing the MEPS interview. If the cancer 
SAQ is not collected before the interviewer leaves the household 
(including those cases where the SAQ respondent is not available at the 
time of the MEPS interview), he/she will either arrange a time to come 
back to pick it up (if it is mutually convenient for the respondent and 
interviewer) or we ask that the SAQ be returned in a postage-paid 
envelope left at the household.
    There are several benefits to administering this SAQ nationally as 
a supplement to the MEPS. First, the accompanying over sample of 
persons with cancer will improve the cost estimates for patients with 
this disease and will allow AHRQ to conduct analysis on the long term 
costs of cancer for survivors. Since the survey is about the lasting 
effects of cancer and cancer treatments on the lives of those who have 
been diagnosed with cancer, the data will also allow research directed 
at long-term consequences of cancer and overall medical expenses. 
Finally, this activity will allow AHRQ to examine the feasibility of 
using MEPS as a vehicle for in depth analysis of other specific 
conditions. The questionnaire is being funded by the National Cancer 
Institute (NCI) and was developed through a collaboration among the 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NCI, the National 
Institutes of Health, AHRQ, the American Cancer Society, and the Lance 
Armstrong Foundation.

Estimated Annual Respondent Burden

    Exhibit 1 shows the estimated annualized burden hours for 
respondents' time to participate in this research. The Cancer SAQ will 
be completed by 3,500 persons and is estimated to require 30 minutes to 
complete. The total annualized burden is estimated to be 1,750 hours.
    Exhibit 2 shows the estimated annualized cost burden associated 
with respondents' time to participate in this research. The total cost 
burden is estimated to be $37,363 annually.

                                  Exhibit 1--Estimated Annualized Burden Hours
                                                                     Number of
                    Activity                         Number of     responses per     Hours per     Total burden
                                                    respondents     respondent       response          hours
MEPS Cancer SAQ.................................           3,500               1           30/60           1,750
    Total.......................................           3,500             n/a             n/a           1,750

                                   Exhibit 2--Estimated Annualized Cost Burden
                                                     Number of     Total burden   Average hourly    Total cost
                    Activity                        respondents        hours        wage rate*        burden
MEPS Cancer SAQ.................................           3,500           1,750          $21.35         $37,363
    Total.......................................           3,500           1,750             n/a          37,363
* Based on the mean average hourly rate for all occupations (00-0000), National Compensation Survey:
  Occupational Wages in the United States May 2010, ``U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics''.

Estimated Annual Costs to the Federal Government

    Exhibit 3 shows the estimated total cost for the Cancer SAQ. Since 
the SAQ will only be used once in 2012 the total and annual costs are 
identical. The total cost is approximately $1,050,000.

             Exhibit 3--Estimated Total and Annualized Cost
         Cost component               Total cost        Annualized cost
Sampling Activities.............             $20,000             $20,000
Interviewer Recruitment and                        0                   0
Data Collection Activities......             300,000             300,000
Data Processing.................             600,000             600,000
Production of Public Use Data                 80,000              80,000
Project Management..............              50,000              50,000
    Total.......................           1,050,000           1,050,000

[[Page 67736]]

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: October 27, 2011.
Carolyn M. Clancy,
[FR Doc. 2011-28402 Filed 11-1-11; 8:45 am]