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Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; SHIP-SMP Survey of One-on-One Assistance, Formerly the “National Beneficiary Survey of State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)”, OMB #0985-0057

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Administration for Community Living, HHS.




The Administration for Community Living (ACL) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on the proposed collection of information listed above. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), Federal agencies are required to publish a notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice.

This notice solicits comments on the Proposed Revision and solicits comments on the information collection requirements related to the “SHIP-SMP Survey of One-on-One Assistance”.


Comments on the collection of information must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. (EST) or postmarked by February 28, 2020.


Submit electronic comments on the collection of information to: Sara Vogler. Submit written comments on the collection of information to Administration for Community Living, Washington, DC 20201, Attention: Sara Vogler.

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Sara Vogler, Administration for Community Living, Washington, DC 20201, 202-795-7461,

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Under the PRA, Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. The PRA requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, ACL is publishing a notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

With respect to the following collection of information, ACL invites comments on our burden estimates or any other aspect of this collection of information, including:

(1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of ACL's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility;

(2) the accuracy of ACL's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used to determine burden estimates;

(3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

The SHIP-SMP Survey of One-on-One Assistance is a survey of individuals who meet with team members from the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) or the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). These services help Medicare beneficiaries understand their Medicare benefits and options. These services also increase the ability of beneficiaries to identify and report fraud, waste, and abuse within health care programs generally, and Medicare/Medicaid specifically.

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) was created under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. This section of the law authorized the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to make grants to states to establish and maintain health insurance advisory service programs for Medicare beneficiaries. Grant funds were made available to support information, counseling, and assistance activities related to Medicare, Medicaid, and other health insurance options. SHIP grantees provide free, in-depth, unbiased, one-on-one health insurance counseling and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers.

The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) program was authorized in 1997 under Titles II and IV of the Older Americans Act, the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriation Act of 1997 and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The SMP mission is to empower and assist Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers, to prevent, detect, and report suspected healthcare fraud, errors, and abuse through outreach, counseling, and education.

SMP grantees support ACL's goals of promoting increased choice and greater independence among older adults and individuals with disabilities. SMP activities also serve to enhance the financial, emotional, physical, and mental well-being of older adults, thereby increasing their capacity to Start Printed Page 71957maintain security in retirement and make better financial and healthcare choices. SMP team members provide one-on-one assistance, and when needed, serve as consumer advocates to resolve billing disputes/issues.

The SHIP-SMP Survey of One-on-One Assistance will gauge individuals' satisfaction with the services provided by SHIP and SMP team members. This survey is a renewal of the existing “National Beneficiary Survey of State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)”, which received clearance on August 28, 2017, with ICR Reference Number 201702-0985-002 and OMB Control Number 0985-0057. That survey was conducted over a three-year period beginning on October 1, 2017, and will conclude on March 30, 2020. To date, this survey has generated over 2500 responses, all of which were submitted voluntarily.

ACL requests renewal of the survey to continue the collection performed in Fiscal Years 2018, 2019, and 2020. Reports developed for FY18 and FY19 participants have provided an overall measure of satisfaction with SHIP's one-on-one assistance services and have provided insight into the relationship between inputs (information provided, time between initial contact and services received) and overall satisfaction. The renewed collection will survey recipients of both SHIP and SMP one-on-one assistance but will not increase the number of surveys collected. The renewed survey will provide an annual collection at the national level, with an estimated collection of 800 responses per year. To generate a sample with a 95% confidence level at the national level 400 responses will be required from each program (n = 2,000,000 SHIP one-on-one assistance sessions in 2018; n = 275,000 SMP one-on-one assistance sessions in 2018).

ACL will draw a representative sample of customers who received assistance from each program by focusing only on non-redundant individuals (i.e., a random sample without replacement of individuals who receive SHIP and/or SMP one-on-one assistance).

The proposed data collection tools may be found on the ACL website for review at​about-acl/​public-input.

Estimated Program Burden

ACL estimates the burden associated with this collection of information as follows:

Respondent/data collection activityNumber of respondentsResponses per respondentHours per responseAnnual burden hours
Survey, Stratified Random Sample80016/6080
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Dated: December 19, 2019.

Mary Lazare,

Principal Deputy Administrator.

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[FR Doc. 2019-28101 Filed 12-27-19; 8:45 am]