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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Performance, OMB No. 0915-0363-Extension

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Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services.




In compliance with the requirement for opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 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 ICR should be received no later than April 8, 2019.


Submit your comments to or mail to Lisa Wright-Solomon, the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer, Room 14N136B, 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 Lisa Wright-Solomon, 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: Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Performance Measures, OMB No. 0915-0363—Extension

Abstract: This information collection comment request is for continued approval of the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program Performance Measures. HRSA is proposing to continue this data collection with no changes. The current performance measures are collected electronically in the Performance Improvement and Measurement System, which awardees access securely through the HRSA Electronic Handbooks.

The Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex Program) is authorized by Section 1820 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395i-4), as amended. The purpose of the Flex Program is to enable state designated entities to support critical access hospitals in quality improvement, quality reporting, performance improvement, and benchmarking; to assist facilities seeking designation as critical access hospitals; and to create a program to establish or expand the provision of rural emergency medical services.

Need and Proposed Use of the Information: For this program, performance measures were developed to provide data useful to the Flex program and to enable HRSA to provide aggregate program data required by Congress under the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRA). These measures cover principal topic areas of interest to the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, including: (a) Quality reporting, (b) quality improvement interventions, (c) financial and operational improvement initiatives, (d) population health management, and (e) innovative care models. In addition to informing the Office's progress toward meeting the goals set in GPRA, the information is important in identifying and understanding programmatic improvement across program areas, as well as guiding future iterations of the Flex Program and prioritizing areas of need and support.

Likely Respondents: Respondents are the Flex Program coordinators for the states participating in the Flex Program. There are currently 45 states participating in the Flex Program.

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 ICR 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
Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program45145703,150
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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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Amy P. McNulty,

Acting Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.

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[FR Doc. 2019-01106 Filed 2-4-19; 8:45 am]