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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Health Resources and Services Administration, HHS.




In compliance with the requirement for opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects (Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announces plans to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR), described below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Prior to submitting the ICR to OMB, HRSA seeks comments from the public regarding the burden estimate, below, or any other aspect of the ICR.


Comments on this Information Collection Request must be received no later than June 8, 2015.


Submit your comments to or mail the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer, Room 10C-03, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

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To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and draft instruments, email or call the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer at (301) 443-1984.

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When submitting comments or requesting information, please include the information request collection title for reference.

Information Collection Request Title: Shortage Designation Management System OMB No. 0906-xxxx-New.

Abstract: HRSA's Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) is committed to improving the health of the nation's underserved communities and vulnerable populations by developing, implementing, evaluating, and refining programs that strengthen the nation's health workforce. The Department of Health and Human Services relies on two federal shortage designations to identify and dedicate resources to areas and populations in greatest need of providers: Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) designations and Medically Underserved Area/Medically Underserved Population (MUA/P) designations. HPSA designations are geographic areas, population groups, and facilities that are experiencing a shortage of health professionals. MUA/P designations are areas, or populations within areas, that are experiencing a shortage of health care services. MUAs are designated for the entire population of a particular geographic area. MUP designations are limited to particular groups of underserved people within an area. These designations are currently used in a number of departmental programs that provide both federal and state government grant/program benefits for communities, health care facilities, and providers. BHW has the responsibility for designating and de-designating HPSAs and MUA/Ps on behalf of the Secretary.

HPSA designations are required to be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect current data. Individual states—through their Primary Care Office (PCO)—have primary responsibility for initiating an application for a new or updated HPSA designation, or withdrawing HPSAs that no longer meet the designation criteria. HRSA reviews the application and makes the final determination on the HPSA designation. Requests come from the PCOs who have access to the online application and review system, Shortage Designation Management System (SDMS). Requests that come from other sources are referred to the PCOs for their review and concurrence. In addition, interested parties, including the Governor, the State Primary Care Association, and state professional associations are notified of each request submitted for their comments and recommendations.

In order to obtain a federal shortage designation for an area, population, or facility, PCOs must submit a shortage designation application through SDMS for review and approval by BHW. Both the HPSA and MUA/P application request local, state, and national data on the population that is experiencing a shortage of health professionals and the number of health professionals relative Start Printed Page 18241to the population covered by the proposed designation. The information collected on the applications is used to determine which areas, populations, and facilities have shortages.

The lists of designated HPSAs are annually published in the Federal Register. In addition, lists of HPSAs are updated on the HRSA Web site,​shortage/​, so that interested parties can access the information.

Need and Proposed Use of the Information: The need and purpose of this information collection is to obtain information to designate HPSAs and MUA/Ps. The information obtained from the SDMS Application is used to determine which areas, populations, and facilities have critical shortages of health professionals. The SDMS HPSA application and SDMS MUA/P Application are used for these designation determinations. Applicants must submit a SDMS application to BHW to obtain a federal shortage designation. The application asks for local, state, and national data required to determine the applicant's eligibility to obtain a federal shortage designation. In addition, applicants must enter in detailed information explaining how the area, population, or facility faces a critical shortage of health professionals.

Likely Respondents: State Primary Care Offices interested in obtaining a primary care, dental, or mental HPSA designation or a MUA/P in their state.

Burden Statement: Burden in this context means the time expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide the information requested. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information; to search data sources; to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information. The total annual burden hours estimated for this Information Collection Request are summarized in the table below.

Total Estimated Annualized burden hours:

Form nameNumber of respondentsNumber of responses per respondentTotal responsesAverage burden per response (in hours)Total burden hours
Designation Planning and Preparation541544.25229.50
SDMS Application54231,2421.752,173.50

HRSA specifically requests comments on (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.

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Jackie Painter,

Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.

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[FR Doc. 2015-07673 Filed 4-2-15; 8:45 am]