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Jan 27 -- The Office of Burden Reduction & Health Informatics (OBRHI), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), invites comments to OMB by Febraury 27, 2023 regarding the new Data Collection to Support CMS Burden Reduction and Health Informatics Efforts.

The CMS Office of Burden Reduction & Health Informatics (OBRHI) was established to serve as a focal point and champion for burden reduction, national standards and interoperability, and to engage internal and external customers to inform solutions. In support of this work, we solicit stakeholder input and feedback to better support the populations we serve and those who assist with delivering healthcare services. OBRHI develops and implements solutions to clarify, streamline, and modernize CMS policies and regulations to promote equitable, accessible, efficient, and effective healthcare delivery. OBRHI supports CMS efforts to improve the day-to-day experience in the healthcare system by furthering interoperability, driving national standards, and improving access to health information for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, Marketplace consumers, providers, and payers.

CMS seeks to establish a generic clearance that will be used to permit quick turnaround data collection projects that support CMS efforts to infuse customer perspectives, apply innovative solutions, advance standards and information technology (IT) interoperability, advance health equity, and respond to emerging priorities. CMS will utilize a range of methodologies through this generic clearance including surveys, focus groups, stakeholder/key informant interviews, cognitive interviews, site visits, and usability testing. Data collected under this generic clearance will support CMS and OBRHI efforts to reduce the burden of CMS regulations, sub-regulations, and policies as well as increasing the use of digital health tools to improve the customer experience. Obtaining feedback from CMS stakeholders is a core component of OBRHI's work to assist CMS in improving service delivery.
Improving quality and population health for all requires an understanding of the wholistic customer experience. OBRHI will utilize this generic clearance to engage with the public to seek insights, and ensure those perspectives are reflected in CMS policy and operations. OBRHI curates these insights to drive action across the healthcare enterprise.

OBRHI conducts data-driven research to understand, measure, and identify opportunities to reduce, where appropriate, regulatory burden and to improve access to quality, affordable healthcare. As part of its efforts, OBRHI engages a broad range of stakeholders, including patients and their families, providers, consumer advocates, and health care professional associations, to understand their experiences with CMS regulations, particularly how existing and proposed CMS regulations impact the experience of healthcare.

OBRHI seeks to establish this generic clearance to utilize standardized data collection methods that may be needed to support specific projects, often with quick turnaround deadlines, to gather timely stakeholder perspectives, which are necessary to inform CMS efforts on emerging issues such as responding to a public health emergency. These data collections support CMS cross-cutting initiatives to elevate stakeholder voices through active engagement and using data to drive decision-making.

Data collections conducted under this clearance will support CMS efforts to implement Executive Order 14058, which directs agencies to prioritize efforts to improve service delivery and customer experience. OBRHI plays an important role in CMS efforts to improve the customer experience by infusing customer perspectives across the Agency and developing innovative solutions that reduce customer burden. Data collections under this generic clearance will allow OBRHI to support CMS Agency-wide efforts to improve service delivery by reducing administrative burden and implementing innovative solutions as outlined as outlined in OMB Memorandum M-22-10: Improving Access to Public Benefits Programs Through the Paperwork Reduction Act.

OBRHI is also supporting CMS efforts to advance health equity by assisting CMS programs in understanding and addressing inequities as directed by Executive Order 13985: Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. CMS and OBRHI are committed to advancing health equity by understanding and addressing the burdens, disparities, barriers, and challenges people experience in our nation’s health system. For example, CMS is seeking to better incorporate the perspectives of individuals with lived experiences, safety net providers, and community-based organizations. Data collections conducted through this generic clearance will allow CMS to better understand how changes to CMS regulations and policies could improve equity.  
OBRHI anticipates using a wide range of data collection methods that will be selected depending on the specific goals and the target audience. These data collection methods include, but are not limited to:

-- Stakeholder/Key Informant Interviews: One-on-one interviews with key stakeholders, typically conducted using a semi-structured interview protocol.  
-- Focus Groups: Interviews conducted with a small group of individuals, led by a moderator typically following a semi-structured protocol established in a moderator’s guide.
-- Surveys & Forms: Surveys administered to non-probability groups of individuals, including surveys used to collect feedback on trainings. This can also include requesting that participants complete a standardized questionnaire prior to participating in an unstructured interview or listening session.
-- Site Visits: Include a combination of direct observation and qualitative interviews to better understand observations.
-- Usability Testing: Used to evaluate a product or service that combines direct observation of an individual using the product or service and supplementing this with qualitative interviews. This can also include utilizing eye-tracking technology to better understand how the visual design impacts the individual’s usage of the product or service.
-- Cognitive Testing: Qualitative research method used to evaluate survey questions prior to full-scale survey administration by asking supplemental probes to identify the respondent’s understanding of the survey question.

All of OBRHI’s data collection approaches may be conducted virtually (online, videoconference, etc.) or in-person.  
OBRHI: https://www.cms.gov/about-cms/obrhi
CMS submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202301-0938-022 Click IC List for information collection instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-01713 #2

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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