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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Comment Request

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In compliance with the requirement for opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects (Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of Title 44, United States Code, as amended by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Pub. L. 104-13), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) publishes periodic summaries of proposed projects being developed for submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and draft instruments, email paperwork@hrsa.gov or call the HRSA Reports Clearance Officer at (301) 443-1984.

Comments are invited on: (a) The proposed collection of information for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency; (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: Rural Health Information Technology Network Development (OMB No. 0915-xxxx) − [New]

The purpose of the Rural Health Information Technology Network Development (RHITND) Program, authorized under the Public Health Service Act, Section 330A(f) (42 U.S.C. 254c) as amended by Section 201, Public Law 107-251 of the Health Care Safety Net Amendments of 2002, is to improve health care and support the adoption of Health Information Technology (HIT) in rural America by providing targeted HIT support to rural health networks. HIT plays a significant role in the advancement of the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) priority policies to improve health care delivery. Some of these priorities include: improving health care quality, safety, and efficiency, reducing disparities, engaging both patients and families in managing their health, enhancing care coordination, improving population and public health, and ensuring adequate privacy and security of health information.

The intent of RHITND is to support the adoption and use of electronic health records (EHR) in coordination with the ongoing HHS activities related to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act (Pub. L. 111-5). This legislation provides HHS with the authority to establish programs to improve health care quality, safety, and efficiency through the promotion of health information technology, including EHR.

For this program, performance measures were drafted to provide data useful to the program and to enable HRSA to provide aggregate program data required by Congress under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993 (Pub. L. 103-62). These measures cover the principal topic areas of interest to the Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP), including: (a) Access to care; (b) the underinsured and uninsured; (c) workforce recruitment and retention; (d) sustainability; (e) health information technology; (f) network development; and (g) health-related clinical measures. Several measures will be used for this program. These measures will speak to ORHP's progress toward meeting the goals set.

The annual estimate of burden is as follows:

InstrumentNumber of respondentsResponses per respondentTotal responsesHours per responseTotal burden hours
Rural Health Information Technology Network Development Program411414.12168.92
Total411414.12168.92

Email comments to paperwork@hrsa.gov or mail the HRSA Reports Clearance Officer, Room 10-29, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857. Written comments should be received within 60 days of this notice.

Dated: February 14, 2012.

Reva Harris,

Acting Director, Division of Policy and Information Coordination.

[FR Doc. 2012-3919 Filed 2-17-12; 8:45 am]

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