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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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In compliance with section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 concerning opportunity for public comment on proposed collections of information, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects. To request more information on the proposed projects or to obtain a copy of the information collection plans, call the SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer on (301) 443-7978.

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection 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 on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Proposed Project: SAMHSA/HRSA Collaboration to Link Health Care for the Homeless Programs and Community Mental Health Agencies—(New)—The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS); the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC); and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) propose to conduct a longitudinal, multi-site evaluation assessing their initiative to foster collaborations between Health Care for the Homeless programs (HCH) and community mental health agencies (CMHA). In 12 designated communities, an HCH site and a CMHA site will collaborate to increase the availability of mental health and primary care services for persons with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders who are homeless. The evaluation of these collaborative efforts will advance knowledge on elements of the implementation process associated with establishment of a successful collaboration, such as partnering mechanisms, success of referral links, intensity of services, the effects of collaboration on client outcomes, and plans for sustainability.

Data collection will be conducted over a 30-month period. In each community, both a process and an outcome evaluation will be conducted to address the following questions: How is the project being implemented? What are the identified collaboration mechanisms? What are the service/agency level outcomes? What are the system-level outcomes? What are the client-level outcomes? To what extent do the various collaboration strategies predict outcomes?

To reduce burden and increase uniformity across the study sites, a common case study protocol will be used to guide the evaluation. Information for the service/agency and system level evaluations will be collected by staff from the central Evaluation Center (EC) during annual site visits and through activity logs. Common site visit protocols will dictate what data collection methods will be used. Site visitors will rely on focus groups and interviews to obtain information from project directors, local evaluators, project staff, and clients. Activity logs monitoring each community's efforts to implement collaboration strategies, will be completed by program administrators and submitted to the EC quarterly. Key outcomes to be examined at the service/agency level through these data collection methods include increased availability of mental health, substance abuse, specialty care, housing and services; increased access to primary care, mental health, and substance abuse services; more comprehensive assessment of and services for individual needs; increased integrated delivery of services; and increased engagement and retention in services. System-level outcomes to be examined include increased cross-agency activity; Start Printed Page 5303increased mental health capacity at Hch sites; less redundancy in data collection; and enhanced screening for multi-dimensional issues.

The estimated response burden for this project is as follows:

InstrumentNumber of responsesResponses/respondentBurden/response (Hrs.)Total burden hours
Administrative Interviews2431.5108
Evaluator Interviews1231.036
Line Staff Interviews4831.0144
Consumer Focus Groups8431.0252
Other Key Informants4831.0144
Activity Logs12102.0240
3-yr. Annual Average228308

A total of approximately 6,500 program participants are expected to be recruited from the 12 sites. Each site will collect GPRA data on these participants using the CMHS GPRA Core Client Outcome measures approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 0930-0208, which cover such domains as drug and alcohol use, family and living conditions, education, employment, and income, crime and criminal justice status, and mental and physical health problems and treatment. To obtain information on client-level outcomes the central Evaluation Center will work with each site to develop methods for obtaining relevant material from the GPRA data. It is expected that client-level data will be submitted to the Evaluation Center via electronic means. The Evaluation Center will provide training and technical assistance to all sites on data submission procedures.

Send comments to Nancy Pearce, SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer, Room 16-105, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857. Written comments should be received within 60 days of this notice.

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Dated: January 27, 2003.

Richard Kopanda,

Executive Officer, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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[FR Doc. 03-2392 Filed 1-31-03; 8:45 am]