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Aug 2 -- The Office of the Secretary (OS), Department of Health and Human Services, invites comments to OMB by September 12, 2022 regarding the proposed revisions to the Unified Hospital Data Surveillance System (U.S. Healthcare COVID-19 Collection). [Note: While the FRN says comments are due by Sept 1, the public is allowed 30 days from Aug 12, the date of HHS submission to OMB.]

Since March 29, 2020, the U.S. government has been collecting data from hospitals and states to understand health care system stress, capacity, capabilities, and the number of patients hospitalized due to COVID-19. The principal use of the data collected through this ICR is to inform federal allocations of limited supplies (e.g., protective equipment and medication). It is also used to inform the White House, conduct research on hospitalization, and communicate to the public through daily and weekly reports for the public's use and analysis.

Hospitals, with the exception of psychiatric and rehabilitation hospitals, are required to report seven days a week but, where possible and pending further direction from their state or jurisdiction, are encouraged to report weekend data on the following Monday with the data backdated to the appropriate date. Data elements may be required or optional and may be associated with a specific cadence. Some data elements are requested at each reporting interval (i.e., daily), while others are requested weekly. As of the August 10, 2022 guidance, per Secretary discretion, psychiatric and rehabilitation facilities must submit data once annually for the week prior to meet federal reporting requirements. This may evolve based on the needs of the national response. All hospitals are asked to follow the direction of their state and jurisdiction to ensure reporting meets state, tribal, local, and territorial (STLT) needs. This collection will continue for the length of the public health emergency declaration.
 
The substantive change consists of making some fields inactive for federal data collection and changes to the cadence of reporting for a subset of hospital types. These changes are necessary to help the nation continue to track and manage the national COVID-19 response, and reduce the burden of hospital reporting, while allowing states the flexibility to continue their respective data collection systems. The changes discussed will reduce the number of data elements from 82 fields to approximately 69 fields.  
 
Proposed revised COVID-19 Guidance for Hospital Reporting https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/DownloadDocument?objectID=123957200
 
COVID Data Tracker: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#datatracker-home
Submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202207-0990-007 Click on IC List for collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this site.
FR notice inviting public comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-16505
 
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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