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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Information Collection Request Title: Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Loan Repayment Program, OMB No. 0906-xxxx-New

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




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 August 3, 2020.


Submit your comments to or mail the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer, Room 14N136B, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 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 ICR title for reference.

Information Collection Request Title: Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Loan Repayment Program, OMB No. 0906—xxxx—New.

Abstract: The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 included no less than $12,000,000 for HRSA's Bureau of Health Workforce to establish the Loan Repayment Program for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Treatment Workforce. This funding will allow HRSA to provide the repayment of education loans for individuals working in either a full-time SUD treatment job that involves direct patient care in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) designated for Mental Health or a county where the Start Printed Page 34455average drug overdose death rate exceeds the national average.

The program expands the types of disciplines eligible to include but not limited to behavioral health paraprofessionals, occupational therapists and bachelor trained counselors. The program also expands the treatment facilities, to include but not limited to inpatient psychiatric facilities, recovery centers, detox facilities, emergency department and local community jails and detention centers. HHS agrees to repay the qualifying educational loans up to $250,000.00 in return for 6 years of service obligation. The forms utilized by the Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery (STAR) Loan Repayment Program (LRP) include the following: The STAR LRP Application, the Authorization for Disclosure of Loan Information form, and the Privacy Act Release Authorization form, if applicable. The aforementioned forms collect information that is needed for selecting participants and repaying qualifying educational loans.

Eligible facilities for the STAR LRP are facilities that provide in-patient and outpatient, ambulatory, primary and mental/behavioral health care services to populations residing in mental health HPSA or a county where the average drug overdose death rate exceeds the national average. The facilities that may provide related in-patient services may include, but are not limited to CMS-approved Critical Access Hospitals, Indian Health Service facilities, inpatient rehabilitation centers and psychiatric facilities. HRSA will recruit facilities for approval. New facilities must submit an application for review and approval. The application requests will contain supporting information on the clinical service site, recruitment contact and services provided. Assistance in completing this application may be obtained through the appropriate HRSA personnel. HRSA will use the information collected on the applications to determine eligibility of the facility for the assignment of health professionals and to verify the need for clinicians. The STAR LRP service site approval will undergo a recertification after no more than 5 years to ensure SUD services are being rendered and the desired population is receiving care.

Despite the similarity in the titles, the STAR LRP is not the existing NHSC SUD LRP (OMB #0915-0127), which is authorized under Title III of the Public Health Service Act. The STAR LRP is a newly authorized Title VII program that has different service requirements, loan repayment protocols, and authorized employment facilities.

Need and Proposed Use of the Information: The need and purpose of this information collection is to obtain information that is used to assess an STAR LRP applicant's eligibility and qualifications for the program, and to obtain information for eligible site applicants. Clinicians interested in participating in the STAR LRP must submit an application to the program in order to participate, and health care facilities located in any HPSAs with high overdose rate and MHPSs must submit a Site Application to determine the eligibility of sites to participate in the STAR LRP. The STAR LRP application asks for personal, professional and financial information needed to determine the applicant's eligibility to participate in the STAR LRP. In addition, applicants must provide information regarding the loans for which repayment is being requested.

Likely Respondents: Licensed primary care medical, mental and behavioral health providers, and other paraprofessionals who are employed or seeking employment, and are interested in serving underserved populations; health care facilities interested in participating in the STAR LRP, and becoming an approved service site; STAR LRP sites providing behavioral health care services directly, or through a formal affiliation with a comprehensive community-based primary behavioral health setting, facility providing comprehensive behavioral health services, or various substance abuse treatment facility sub-types.

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
STAR LRP Application3001300.50150
Authorization for Disclosure of Loan Information Form3001300.50150
Privacy Act Release Authorization Form3001300.50150
Site Application40014001400
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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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Maria G. Button,

Director, Executive Secretariat.

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[FR Doc. 2020-12040 Filed 6-3-20; 8:45 am]