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Apr 24 -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), invites comment to OMB by May 26, 2023 regarding the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) data collection. [Comments due 30 days after submission to OMB on April 26.]

The Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP), National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collects data from healthcare facilities in the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) under OMB Control Number 0920–0666. NHSN provides facilities, states, regions, and the nation with data necessary to identify problem areas, measure the progress of prevention efforts, and ultimately eliminate healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) nationwide. NHSN allows healthcare facilities to track blood safety errors and various healthcare-associated infection prevention practice methods such as healthcare personnel influenza vaccine status and corresponding infection control adherence rates. NHSN currently has seven components: Patient Safety (PS), Healthcare Personnel Safety (HPS), Biovigilance (BV), Long-Term Care Facility (LTCF), Outpatient Procedure (OPC), Dialysis Component, and the Neonatal Component.

NHSN has increasingly served as the operating system for HAI reporting compliance through legislation established by the states. As of April 2020, 36 states, the District of Columbia and the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania have opted to use NHSN as their primary system for mandated reporting. Reporting compliance is completed by healthcare facilities in their respective jurisdictions, with emphasis on those states and municipalities acquiring varying consequences for failure to use NHSN. Additionally, healthcare facilities in five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands) are voluntarily reporting to NHSN. Additional territories are projected to follow with similar use of NHSN for reporting purposes.

NHSN data is used to aid in the tracking of HAIs and guide infection prevention activities/practices that protect patients. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other payers use these data to determine incentives for performance at healthcare facilities across the US and surrounding territories, and members of the public may use some protected data to inform their selection among available providers. Each of these parties is dependent on the completeness and accuracy of the data. CDC and CMS work closely and are fully committed to ensuring complete and accurate reporting, which are critical for protecting patients and guiding national, state, and local prevention priorities. CMS collects some HAI data and healthcare personnel influenza vaccination summary data, which is done on a voluntary basis as part of its Fee-for-Service Medicare quality reporting programs, while others may report data required by a federal mandate. Facilities that fail to report quality measure data are subject to partial payment reduction in the applicable Medicare Fee-for-Service payment system. CMS links their quality reporting to payment for Medicare-eligible acute care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long-term acute care facilities, oncology hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, dialysis facilities, and ambulatory surgery centers. Facilities report HAI data and healthcare personnel influenza vaccination summary data to CMS via NHSN as part of CMS's quality reporting programs to receive full payment. Still, many healthcare facilities, even in states without HAI reporting legislation, submit limited HAI data to NHSN voluntarily.

NHSN's data collection updates continue to support the incentive programs managed by CMS. For example, survey questions support requirements for CMS' quality reporting programs. Additionally, CDC has collaborated with CMS on a voluntary National Nursing Home Quality Collaborative, which focuses on recruiting nursing homes to report HAI data to NHSN and to retain their continued participation.

In January 2023, CDC obtained emergency OMB approval for a number of changes, effective immediately (Exp. 7/31/2023). These changes included the addition of a new Monthly Survey on Patient Days & Nurse Staffing, as well as minor changes to 14 information collection forms. The changes primarily supported clarifications to use of CIDTs, HAI forms with susceptibility reporting requirements, vendor information, testing options for UTI events, and all y-types of hepatitis B vaccines administered to patients and staff members at outpatient dialysis centers.

In this Revision, CDC requests OMB approval to continue those changes for three years. In addition, CDC requests OMB approval to begin phased implementation of two new questions on Sex at Birth and Gender Identity, which will replace the current Gender question. The new questions will be voluntary for the remainder of 2023 and required in 2024. The proposed change will be used to help assess the true impact of sex at birth and gender identify on HAIs, individually and in combination with other risk factors, and to inform public health programs.

NHSN: https://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/index.html
CDC submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202301-0920-005 Click IC List for information collection instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-08571

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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