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March 1 --  The Census Bureau invites public comment by March 11, 2021 regarding OMB approval of the 2022 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
 
Sponsored primarily by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (HRSA MCHB), the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) is designed to produce data on the physical, emotional, and behavioral health of children under 18 years of age in the United States. The NSCH collects information on factors related to the well-being of children, including access to and quality of health care, family interactions, parental health, school and after-school experiences, and neighborhood characteristics. The goal of the 2022 NSCH is to provide HRSA MCHB, their supplemental sponsoring agencies, states, and other data users with the necessary data to support the production of national estimates yearly and state-based estimates with pooled samples on the health and well-being of children, their families, and their communities as well as estimates of the prevalence and impact of children with special health care needs.

Data will be collected using one of two modes. The first mode is a web instrument (Centurion) survey that contains the screener and topical instruments. The web instrument first will take the respondent through the screener questions. If the household screens into the study, the respondent will be taken directly into one of the three age-based topical sets of questions. The second mode is a mailout/mailback of a self-administered paper-and-pencil interviewing (PAPI) screener instrument followed by a separate mailout/mailback of a PAPI age-based topical instrument.

The National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) is a large-scale (sample size is up to 360,000 addresses) national survey with approximately 200,000 addresses included in the base production survey and approximately 160,000 addresses included as part of eleven separate age-based, state-based, or region-based oversamples. The 2022 NSCH will include a topical incentive test. Prior cycles of the survey have included a $5 unconditional cash incentive with the initial mailing of the paper topical questionnaire. The incentive has proven to be a cost-effective intervention for increasing survey response and reducing nonresponse bias. The 2022 NSCH will continue to test a $10 cash incentive, with a focus on lower responding households.

As in prior cycles of the NSCH, there remain two key, non-experimental design elements. The first additional non-experimental design element is a $5 screener cash incentive mailed to 90% of sampled addresses; the remaining 10% (the control) will receive no incentive to monitor the effectiveness of the cash incentive. This incentive is designed to increase response and reduce nonresponse bias. The incentive amount was chosen based on the results of the 2021 NSCH as well as funding availability. The second additional non-experimental design element is a data collection procedure based on the block group-level paper-only response probability used to identify households (30% of the sample) that would be more likely to respond by paper and send them a paper questionnaire in the initial mailing.
 
There are a small number of differences between the 2021 NSCH and the 2022 NSCH for which we are requesting OMB approval. These differences will be discussed in further detail throughout Supporting Statements A & B, but have been summarized here for ease of reference:

Increased sample size - With additional sponsor funding and continued cost savings from streamlining the survey operations process, we are requesting an increase in sample size. The base NSCH sample plus the proposed state and agency oversamples may reach up to 360,000 addresses for the 2022 NSCH.

Revised questionnaire content – The NSCH questionnaires with newly proposed and revised content from the sponsors at HRSA MCHB underwent two rounds of cognitive testing.  
 
In order to inform decision making around various priorities, some stakeholders have shown interest in sponsoring an oversample of addresses as part of the annual NSCH administration. Currently, nine states (California, Colorado, New York, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wyoming), one region (Atlanta, GA) and one agency (CDC/NCCDPHP) are moving forward with a state-, region-, or age-based oversample option respectively as part of the 2022 NSCH.
 
NSCH websites: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/nsch.html and https://www.childhealthdata.org/learn-about-the-nsch
NSCH submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202202-0607-002 Click on IC List for survey instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation, including proposed changes in 2022 NSCH. Submit comments through this site.
FR notice inviting comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-04224
 
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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