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Jan 22 -- On an emergency basis, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created the HHS Teletracking COVID-19 Portal into which 5,500 hospitals submit daily data such as the number and age of COVID-19-positive patients, COVID patient deaths, bed capacity and utilization, any staffing shortages, therapeutics on hand and administered, and PPE and other supplies on hand. The Office of the Secretary of HHS seeks formal OMB approval for this collection and invites public comments by February 22, 2021.
 
The data collected through this ICR informs the Federal Government's understanding of disease patterns and furthers the development of policies for prevention and control of disease spread and impact related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). One of the most important uses of the data collected through this ICR is to determine critical allocations of limited supplies (e.g., protective equipment and medication). For instance, this collection has been used to distribute Remdesivir, a vital therapeutic that HHS distributes to the American healthcare system, via distinct data calls on regular intervals.
 
The HHS Chief Information Officer (CIO) and CDC are working with the Office of Management and Budget’s United States’ Digital Services (OMB, USDS) and in close coordination with state and local stakeholders, including health departments, associations, hospitals, and community leaders to assess the need for each of the data elements collected as well as to ensure the data are harmonized among respondents and that the burden on hospitals, state and local health departments, and others are considered as the COVID-19 PHE continues.  

This data is critical for numerous purposes including:
-    Federal Government’s effective allocation of resources, such as Remdesivir.
-    Production of reports to inform state and local officials of changing local conditions (e.g., Governor’s Reports)
-    Production of internal reports to inform and guide key decision-makers, including the White House Coronavirus Task Force and Operation Warp Speed
-    Incorporation into models and other projections, estimations, or data analyses in numerous endeavors, both public and private, via the HHS Protect platform
-    Distribution via HHS Protect Public to inform a range of public stakeholder and leaders
-    Coordination with other Federal health providers (Defense Health Agency, Indian Health Service, Department of Veterans Affairs) for federally-provided healthcare.

COVID-19 Hospital Reporting Dashboard: https://protect-public.hhs.gov/pages/covid19-module
COVID-19 Guidance for Hospital Reporting (required data elements as of January 12, 2021): https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/covid-19-faqs-hospitals-hospital-laboratory-acute-care-facility-data-reporting.pdf
Submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202101-0990-002 Click on View Supporting Statement for narrative (written Sept 15, 2020)    
FR notice inviting comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/22/2021-01323/agency-information-collection-request-30-day-public-comment-request
 
Point of contact: Perryn B. Ashmore, Chief Information Officer, HHS perryn.ashmore@hhs.gov (202) 205-3802

For AEA members wishing to submit comments to OMB, "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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