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Dec 18 -- CDC is providing public notice regarding the addition of a small number of COVID-19 related questions to each of the following surveys National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS, National Electronic Health Records Survey (NEHRS), and National Hospital Care Survey (NHCS). These new questions are designed to provide information that is essential to CDC's emergency response to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus. Although CDC has already obtained approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act on these changes, CDC invites public comment on these changes by February 16, 2021.
 
National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) obtains nationally representative estimates on the provision of health care in physician offices and community health centers (CHCs). NAMCS added a short block of questions related to COVID-19 in both (1) the traditional office-based Physician Induction Interview, and (2) the Community Health Center (CHC) Director Induction Interview to provide essential information on how the pandemic affected care provided in office based physician offices and CHCs.
 
National Electronic Health Records Survey (NEHRS) collects information on office-based physicians' adoption and use of electronic health record (EHR) systems, practice information, patient engagement, controlled substances prescribing practices, use of health information exchange (HIE), and the documentation and burden associated with medical record systems(which include both paper-based and EHR systems). Six telemedicine technology questions to assess the use of telemedicine to provide clinical services to patients in response to the COVID-19 pandemic were added to NEHRS.
 
National Hospital Care Survey (NHCS) collects information on inpatient hospital stays. The six questions related to COVID-19 were added to the NHCS Annual Hospital Interview were designed to provide insight into the impact of COVID-19 on the operations of hospital emergency departments (EDs) in the United States. These questions will ask about: (1) Shortages of COVID-19 tests, (2) creation of outside COVID-19 screening areas, (3) referrals for patients with confirmed or presumptive positive COVID-19 infection, (4) clinical care providers at the responding hospital testing positive for COVID-19, (5) the number of inpatient/emergency department ED visits for the year that were related to confirmed COVID-19, and (6) the number of inpatient/ED visits for the year that were related to presumptive positive COVID-19.  
 
FR notice listing added questions, inviting comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/12/18/2020-27820/announcement-and-request-for-comment-on-non-substantive-changes-to-three-data-collections

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