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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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AGENCY:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

In compliance with the requirement of section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is publishing the following summary of proposed collections for public comment. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including any of the following subjects: (1) The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; Start Printed Page 33459(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.

1. Type of Information Collection Request: Revision of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Hospital Reporting Initiative—Hospital Quality Measures; Use: The recently enacted section 5001(a) of the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) sets out new requirements for the Reporting Hospital Quality Data for Annual Payment Update (RHQDAPU) program. The RHQDAPU program was established to implement section 501(b) of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). The DRA builds on our ongoing voluntary Hospital Quality Initiative, which is intended to empower consumers with quality of care information to make more informed decisions about their health care, while also encouraging hospitals and clinicians to improve the quality of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries. The DRA revises the current hospital reporting initiative by stipulating new data collection requirements. The law provides a 2.0 percent reduction in points to the update percentage increase for any hospital that does not submit the quality data in the form, and manner, and at a time, specified by the Secretary. The Act also requires that we expand the “starter set” of 10 quality measures that we have used since 2003. To comply with these new requirements we must make changes to the Hospital Reporting Initiative. Form Number: CMS-10109 (OMB#: 0938-0918); Frequency: Recordkeeping, third party disclosure, and reporting—quarterly; Affected Public: State, Local or Tribal Government; Number of Respondents: 3,700; Total Annual Responses: 14,800; Total Annual Hours: 484,560.

To obtain copies of the supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed paperwork collections referenced above, access CMS' Web site address at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/​PaperworkReductionActof1995, or E-mail your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to Paperwork@cms.hhs.gov, or call the Reports Clearance Office on (410) 786-1326.

To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations for the proposed information collections must be received at the address below, no later than 5 p.m. on August 8, 2006.

CMS, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Division of Regulations Development—B, Attention: William N. Parham, III, Room C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

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Dated: May 25, 2006.

Michelle Shortt,

Director, Regulations Development Group, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.

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[FR Doc. E6-8749 Filed 6-5-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4120-01-P