[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 30 (Wednesday, February 13, 2013)]
[Pages 10174-10175]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-03270]



Office of the Secretary

[Document Identifier: HHS-OS-18774-60D]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; 
Public Comment Request

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, HHS.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: In compliance with section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Secretary (OS), Department of 
Health and Human Services, announces plans to submit a new Information 
Collection Request (ICR), described below, to the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB). Prior to submitting that ICR to OMB, OS seeks 
comments from the public regarding the burden estimate, below, or any 
other aspect of the ICR.

DATES: Comments on the ICR must be received on or before April 15, 

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments to 
[email protected] or by calling (202) 690-6162.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Information Collection Clearance 
staff, [email protected] or (202) 690-6162.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: When submitting comments or requesting 
information, please include the document identifier HHS-OS-18774-60D 
for reference. Information Collection Request Title: Survey of 
Physician Time Use Patterns under the Medicare Fee Schedule.
    Abstract: This information collection is a survey of physician 
providers in five specialties (internal medicine, radiology, 
cardiology, ophthalmology, and orthopedics) to gather information on 
the clinical time spent in providing selected services as well as 
related information on the physician's practice.
    Need and Proposed Use of the Information: The Office of the 
Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation is currently conducting 
a number of studies aimed at producing evidence that will help to 
improve the accuracy of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. Under the 
Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, payments are based in part on the 
relative amount of physician work associated with each service. For a 
number of reasons, payment differentials for Evaluation and Management 
services relative to procedures, rather than narrowing, have continued 
to widen over time. While the fee schedule's relative values are 
updated to reflect changes in medical practice, technology and 
physician productivity, some have questioned whether the current 
process adequately reflects these changes. The intended data collection 
effort would be used to gather information on the time data that is 
used as an input in the fee schedule. Analyses show that even though 
work is defined as both time and intensity, final work values are 
highly correlated with the time measure, with time explaining between 
80 and 90 percent of the inter-service variance in work. However, 
several studies suggest potential flaws in estimates of time associated 
with pre-, post- and intra-service work, demonstrating that the time 
estimates used for many services exceed actual times when objectively 
measured through, for example, operating room logs. The survey data 
will be used to inform several gaps in knowledge critical to improving 
the accuracy of the fee schedule, including (i) the strength of the 
correlation between physician-reported clinical time and fee-schedule 
time values for surveyed services; (ii) how consistent the 
relationships are across services and across specialties; (iii) whether 
the relationships vary across physicians in different types of practice 
settings, and (iv) whether this approach to gathering time data is 
feasible and could be scaled up for a larger effort. Likely 
Respondents: Practicing physicians in 5 specialties.
    Burden Statement: Burden in this context means the time expended by 
persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide the 
information requested. This includes the time needed to review 
instructions, to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and 
systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying 
information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and 
providing information, to train

[[Page 10175]]

personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to 
search data sources, to complete and review the collection of 
information, and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information. The 
total annual burden hours estimated for this ICR are summarized in the 
table below.

                                    Total Estimated Annualized Burden--Hours
                                                      Number of       Number of      burden per     Total burden
                                                     respondents    responses per   response  (in      hours
                                                                     respondent        hours)
Ineligible.......................................              45               1             .05           2.25
Eligible.........................................             600               1             .25         150
    Total........................................             645               1             .24         152.25

    OS specifically requests comments on (1) the necessity and utility 
of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of 
the agency's functions, (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden, (3) 
ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected, and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology to minimize the information 
collection burden.

Darius Taylor,
Deputy, Information Collection Clearance Officer.
[FR Doc. 2013-03270 Filed 2-12-13; 8:45 am]