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Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HHS.




This notice announces the intention of Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to request that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) allow the proposed information collection project: “Questionnaire and Data Collection Testing, Evaluation, and Research for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality”. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), AHRQ invites the public to comment on this proposed information collection.


Comments on this notice must be received by October 15, 2004.


Written comments should be submitted to: Cynthia D. McMichael, Reports Clearance Officer, AHRQ, 540 Gaither Road, Room #5022, Rockville, MD 20850.

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.

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Cynthia D. McMichael, AHRQ, Reports Clearance Officer, (301) 427-1651.

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Proposed Project

“Questionnaire and Data Collection Testing, Evaluation, and Research for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.”

AHRQ plans to employ the latest techniques to improve its current data collections by developing new surveys, and by revising existing surveys in anticipation of, or in response to, changes in the healthcare field, for a 3 year period. The clearance request is limited to research on questionnaires, data collection methods and related reports and does not extend to the collection of data for public release or policy formation.

A generic clearance for this work will allow AHRQ to draft and test survey instruments more quickly and with greater lead time, thereby managing project time more efficiently and Start Printed Page 50384improving the quality of the data it collects.

It is envisioned that in some instances the ability to pretest/pilot-test survey-related instruments, in anticipation of work, or early in a project, may result in the decision not to proceed with particular survey activities, thereby saving both public and private resources and effectively eliminating or reducing respondent burden.

Many of the survey tools AHRQ develops are made available to users in the private sector. The health care environment changes rapidly and requires a quick response from the agency to provide appropriately refined tools. A generic clearance for this methodological work will facilitate the agency's timely development of survey tools suitable for use in changing conditions.

It is particularly important to refine AHRQ's survey tools because they are frequently made available to help the private sector to improve health care quality by enabling the gathering of useful data for analysis and for providing information about health care quality to consumers and purchasers so that they can use their marketplace choices to influence and improve health care quality.

Methods of Collection

Participation in survey testing will be fully voluntary and non-participation will have no effect on eligibility for, or receipt of, future AHRQ health services research support or on future opportunities to participate in research or to obtain informative research results. Specific estimation procedures, when used, will be described when we notify OMB as to actual studies conducted under the clearance.

Estimated Annual Respondent Burden

Type of research activityNumber of respondentsEstimated time per respondentTotal burden hours
Face-to-Face Interviews10060 minutes100
Field Tests (short)2,40020 minutes800
Field Tests (long)7,60030 minutes3,800
Lab Experiments20090 minutes300
Focus Groups10060 minutes100
Cognitive Interviews10060 minutes100
Totals10,500Not Applicable5,200

Estimated Costs to the Federal Government

Expenses (equipment, overhead, printing, and support staff) will be incurred by AHRQ components as part of their normal operating budgets. No additional costs to the Federal Government is anticipated. Any deviation from these limits will be noted in reports made to OMB with respect to a particular study or studies conducted under the clearance.

Request for Comments

In accordance with the above-cited legislation, comments on the AHRQ 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 functions of AHRQ, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the AHRQ's estimate of burden (including hours and cost) 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 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 request for OMB approval of the proposed information collection. All comments will become a matter of public record.

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Dated: August 6, 2004.

Carolyn M. Clancy,


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[FR Doc. 04-18654 Filed 8-13-04; 8:45 am]