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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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AGENCY:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS.

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; (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: Extension of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) Client Contact Form, Public and Media Activity Report Form, and Resource Report Form. Use: Section 4360(f) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) 1990 requires the Secretary to provide a series of reports to the U.S. Congress on the performance of the program and its impact on beneficiaries and to obtain important informational feedback from beneficiaries. Further, in response to requirements of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, CMS launched a comprehensive five-year campaign, the National Medicare Education Program (NMEP), to raise awareness among beneficiaries about their Medicare health plan options and help them assess the advantages and disadvantages each choice holds for them. The Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003 required State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) to be actively engaged in the implementation of the Medicare Prescription Drug Program (Part D). MIPPA legislation and Affordable Care Act legislation required SHIPs to provide enrollment assistance for the Limited Income Subsidy (LIS) and Medicare Savings Program (MSP). The goal is to ensure that beneficiaries are making an informed choice, regardless of whether they stay in Original Medicare or choose new options. CMS is responsible to Congress for demonstrating improvement over time in the level of awareness and understanding beneficiaries have about health plan options. The SHIPs are an integral component of this initiative.

The information collected is used to fulfill the reporting requirements described in Section 4360(f) of OBRA 1990. The data will be accumulated and analyzed to measure SHIP performance in order to determine whether and to what extent the SHIPs have met the goals of improved CMS customer service to beneficiaries and better understanding by beneficiaries of their health insurance options. Further, the information will be used in the administration of the grants, to measure performance and appropriate use of the funds by the state grantees, to identify gaps in services and technical support needed by SHIPs, and to identify and share best practices.

The overall burden of hours and expected number of respondents increase is based on projected future service growth and projected future increases in staffing to accommodate the increased demand to utilize the SHIP network to raise awareness about new CMS policies, outreach initiatives, or both. Form Number: CMS-10028 (OCN: 0938-0850); Frequency: Occasionally; Affected Public: State, Local, or Tribal Governments; Number of Respondents: 17,838; Total Annual Responses: 2,346,465. Total Annual Hours: 195,642. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Letticia Ramsey at 410-786-5262. For all other issues call 410-786-1326.)

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 Email 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.

In commenting on the proposed information collections please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be submitted in one of the following ways by August 14, 2012:

1. Electronically. You may submit your comments electronically to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for “Comment or Submission” or “More Search Options” to find the information collection document(s) accepting comments.

2. By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address: CMS, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Division of Regulations Development, Attention: Document Identifier CMS-10434, Room C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

Dated: June 12, 2012.

Martique Jones,

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

[FR Doc. 2012-14674 Filed 6-14-12; 8:45 am]

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