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Aug 4 -- The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) asks OMB approve the proposed information collection project: “The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) Social and Health Experiences Self-Administered Questionnaire and COVID-19 Changes." AHRQ invites public comments to OMB by September 3, 2020.
The purpose of this request is to integrate several items into the MEPS-HC including several new questions related to COVID-19 including telehealth/telemedicine questions into the computer assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) questionnaire and a new self-administered questionnaire (SAQ) entitled, “Social and Health Experiences,” into the MEPS. The questions on COVID-19 capture information on any delay in care due to COVID-19. The questions will be administered through a Reporting Unit (RU)-level gate question with follow up questions asked at the person level as appropriate. Telehealth/telemedicine will be administered as its own event type with questions and probes mirroring those used for in-person medical provider visits. This SAQ will include questions in a dual mode (web and paper) self-administered questionnaire about social and behavioral determinants of health including questions about housing affordability and quality, neighborhood characteristics, food security, transportation needs, financial strain, smoking and physical activity, and experiences with discrimination, social support, general well-being, personal safety, and adverse circumstances in childhood. The information collected will be used to examine the relationship between measures of the social determinants of health and measures of health status, and the use and expense of health care services. The goal of this survey is to help understand the relationship between social determinants of health and health care need in order to ultimately improve health care and health.
This study is being conducted by AHRQ through its contractors, Westat and RTI International.
The new CAPI questions collecting information about COVID-19, including telehealth, will be folded into the regular processing stream of MEPS data to produce estimates of health care utilization and expenditures.
MEPS website: https://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/
FR notice:  https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/08/04/2020-16948/agency-information-collection-activities-proposed-collection-comment-request
Submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202007-0935-001  Click on View Supporting Statement for discussion of purpose, users, methods, and schedule.
Social and Health Experiences Self-Administered Questionnaire https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewIC?ref_nbr=202007-0935-001&icID=242879
COVID-19 and Telehealth (telemedicine) questions included in the MEPS questionnaire  https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewIC?ref_nbr=202007-0935-001&icID=242880
Point of contact: Hebert Wong, Ph.D., Director, Div. of Statistical Research and Methods, Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, AHRQ  (301) 427-1405  Herbert.Wong@ahrq.hhs.gov

For AEA members wishing to provide comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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