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Oct 25 -- The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) invites comments to OMB by November 30, 2023 regarding the extension of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Health Plan Survey Database. [Comments due 30 days after submission to OMB on October 31.]

AHRQ requests that OMB reapprove AHRQ's collection of information for the AHRQ Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Health Plan Survey Database: OMB Control number 0935–0165, expiration November 30, 2023 (the CAHPS Health Plan Database). The CAHPS Health Plan Database consists of data from the AHRQ CAHPS Health Plan Survey. Health plans in the U.S. are asked to voluntarily submit data from the survey to AHRQ, through its contractor, Westat. The CAHPS Health Plan Database was developed by AHRQ in 1998 in response to requests from health plans, purchasers, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide comparative data to support public reporting of health plan ratings, health plan accreditation and quality improvement.

This research has the following goals:

(1) To maintain the CAHPS Health Plan Database using data from AHRQ's standardized CAHPS Health Plan Survey to provide results to health care purchasers, consumers, regulators and policy makers across the country.
(2) To offer several products and services, including aggregated results presented through an Online Reporting System, summary chartbooks, custom analyses, and data for research purposes.
(3) To provide data for AHRQ's annual National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report.
(4) To provide state-level data to CMS for public reporting on Medicaid.gov and Data.Medicaid.gov that does not display the name of the health plans.

Survey data from the CAHPS Health Plan Database is used to produce four types of products: (1) An annual chartbook available to the public on the CAHPS Database website (https://www.ahrq.gov/​sites/​default/​files/​wysiwyg/​cahps/​cahps-database/​2022-hp-chartbook.pdf); (2) individual participant reports that are confidential and customized for each participating organization (e.g., health plan, Medicaid agency) that submits their data; (3) a research database available to researchers wanting to conduct additional analyses; and (4) data tables provided to AHRQ for inclusion in the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports.

This study is being conducted by AHRQ through its contractor, Westat, pursuant to AHRQ's statutory authority to conduct and support research on healthcare and on systems for the delivery of such care, including activities with respect to the quality, effectiveness, efficiency, appropriateness and value of healthcare services, quality measurement and development, and database development. 42 U.S.C. 299a(a)(1), (2) and (8).

To achieve the goals of this project the following activities and data collections will be implemented:

-- Registration Form—The point-of-contact (POC), often the sponsor from Medicaid agencies and health plans, completes a number of data submission steps and forms, beginning with the completion of the online registration form. The purpose of this form is to collect basic contact information about the organization and initiate the registration process.
-- Health Plan Information Form—The purpose of this form, completed by the participating sponsor organization, is to collect background characteristics of the health plan.
-- Data Use Agreement—The purpose of the data use agreement, completed by the participating sponsor organization, is to state how data submitted by health plans will be used and provide confidentiality assurances.
-- Data Files Submission—POCs upload their data file using the Health Plan data file specifications to ensure that users submit standardized and consistent data in the way variables are named, coded, and formatted.

Survey data from the CAHPS Health Plan Database is used to produce four types of products: 1) an annual chartbook available to the public on the AHRQ CAHPS web site ( https://www.ahrq.gov/sites/default/files/wysiwyg/cahps/cahps-database/2022-hp-chartbook.pdf ); 2) individual participant reports that are confidential and customized for each participating organization (e.g., health plan, Medicaid agency) that submits their data; 3) a research database available to researchers wanting to conduct additional analyses; and 4) data tables provided to AHRQ for inclusion in the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports.

The CAHPS Health Plan Database receives the data from two sources: 1) Medicare data are provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) through an agency Data Use Agreement. The Medicare data are collected by CMS and their contractor from beneficiaries who were enrolled in a managed care health plan and 2) Medicaid data are collected by the CAHPS Health Plan Database. Medicaid agencies and their vendors directly submit their Medicaid health plan survey data to the CAHPS Health Plan Database through an online data submission system. Data submitted by Medicaid plans, are compiled along with the Medicare data received from CMS to comprise the CAHPS Health Plan Survey Database.

The research database has provided health plan data to 79 researchers thus far. Results of this research have been used to examine:
 
-- Disparities in CAHPS scores by racial and ethnic characteristics of respondents
-- Comparison of adult and child CAHPS survey results
-- Analysis of case-mix factors affecting CAHPS scores
-- Differences in CAHPS scores at the state level
-- Comparison of CAHPS scores between civilian and military beneficiaries

CAHPS: https://www.ahrq.gov/cahps/index.html
AHRQ submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202310-0935-003 Click IC List for data collection instruments, View Supporting Statement for newly added technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-23534

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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