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Dec 16 -- The Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, invites public comment to OMB by January 17, 2022 regarding the Survey of Veteran Enrollees' Health and Use of Health Care.
 
The VA Survey of Enrollees gathers information from Veterans enrolled in the VA Health Care System about factors which influence their health care utilization choices.  Data collected are used to gain insights into Veteran preferences and to provide VA and Veterans Health Administration (VHA) management guidance in preparing for future Veteran needs.  In addition to factors influencing health care choices, the data collected include enrollees’ perceived health status and need for assistance, available insurances, self-reported utilization of VA services versus other health care services, reasons for using VA, barriers to seeking care, ability and comfort level with accessing virtual care, as well as general demographics and family characteristics that may influence utilization but cannot be accessed elsewhere.

Information provided by the Survey of Enrollees supports critical VA policy decisions.  The survey was originally designed to form the foundation of the Enrollee Health Care Project Model (EHCPM) projections, which, in turn, supports the VA Secretary’s annual enrollment level decision necessitated by the Veterans’ Health Care Eligibility Reform Act of 1996 as well as approximately 95 percent of VHA’s medical care budget estimates every budget cycle.  Subsequently, survey data have been used to support the requirements of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014, and the market assessments required by the Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (MISSION) Act of 2018.   
 
The data gathered through the Survey of Enrollees continues to be critical to making Veteran-centric policy and planning to meet future demand and preferences of all eligible Veterans.  

In 2020, the sampling frame included 8,725,547 records from which 134,176 enrolled Veterans were randomly selected to receive an invitation to participate.  

In addition to supporting cost and utilization projections, the survey data is used annually by the Congressional Budget Office for the purposes of estimating the cost of Veteran related legislation and the VHA Office of Community Care for the purposes of estimating third party collections.  In addition, the data is used on an ad hoc basis by VHA Program Offices and by the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) and medical facility strategic planners and has informed the foundation of several strategic planning efforts.  Market level data is made available to facility planners throughout the country via the Health Systems Planning Application and in the form of Pyramid Analytics cubes and Power BI reports through the VHA Service Support Center (VSSC).  

Finally, each year, the data is shared with VHA senior leadership as an update for enrollees’ health care preferences and planned future use of VHA.  

A report of aggregate findings is made available to the public and focused analysis and profiles are developed and posted on the VA intranet.  These internal reports are used in VISN and program planning.
 
VA Survey of Veteran Enrollees’ Health and Use of Health Care webpage: https://www.va.gov/health/survey.asp
Survey request to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202109-2900-006 Click IC List for survey instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this website.  
FR notice inviting public comment to OMB: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/11/30/2021-25961/agency-information-collection-activity-under-omb-review-survey-of-veteran-enrollees-health-and-use (Note while this was published on Nov 30, OMB received the submission on Dec 16.)
 
For AEA members wishing to submit 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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