Strategy To Support Health Information Technology Among HRSA's Safety Net Providers, 54829-54830 [E6-15489]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 181 / Tuesday, September 19, 2006 / Notices The Application for Permit to Import or Transport Etiologic Agents, Hosts, or Vectors of Human Disease will be used by laboratory facilities, such as those operated by government agencies, universities, research institutions, and zoologic exhibitions, and also by importers of nonhuman primate trophy materials, such as hunters or taxidermists, to request permits for the importation and subsequent distribution after importation of etiologic agents, hosts, or vectors of human disease. The Application for Permit to Import or Transport Etiologic Agents, Hosts, or Vectors of Human Disease requests applicant and sender contact information; description of material for importation; facility isolation and containment information; and personnel qualifications. Estimated average time to complete this form is 20 minutes. The Application for Permit to Import or Transport Live Bats will be used by laboratory facilities such as those operated by government agencies, universities, research institutions, and 54829 zoologic exhibitions entities to request importation and subsequent distribution after importation of live bats. The Application for Permit to Import or Transport Live Bats requests applicant and sender contact information; a description and intended use of bats to be imported; facility isolation and containment information; and personnel qualifications. There is no cost to the respondents other than their time. The total annualized burden is 766 hours. ESTIMATE OF ANNUALIZED BURDEN HOURS CFR section Number of respondents Responses per respondent Average hourly burden 71.54 Application for Permit .................................................................................................... 2,300 1 20/60 Dated: September 12, 2006. Joan F. Karr, Acting Reports Clearance Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [FR Doc. E6–15504 Filed 9–18–06; 8:45 am] Act, Title III, section 330(e)(1)(C), and 330(c)(1)(B) and 330(c)(1)(C). Background The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for improving access to health DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND care services for people who are HUMAN SERVICES uninsured, isolated or medically Health Resources and Services vulnerable. Comprising five bureaus and Administration 12 offices, HRSA provides leadership and financial support to health care Strategy To Support Health providers in every State and U.S. Information Technology Among territory. HRSA grantees provide health HRSA’s Safety Net Providers care to uninsured people, people living with HIV/AIDS, and pregnant women, AGENCY: Health Resources and Services mothers and children. They train health Administration (HRSA), HHS. professionals and improve systems of ACTION: Solicitation of comments. care in rural communities. HRSA is the Nation’s access agency—improving SUMMARY: HRSA is requesting comments health and saving lives by making sure on the future direction and strategy the right services are available in the regarding investments in health right places at the right time. information technology (HIT) for section The Office of Health Information 330 grantees and other HRSA safety-net Technology (OHIT) serves as the HRSA providers through its Office of Health Administrator’s principal advisor for Information Technology (OHIT). OHIT promoting the adoption of HIT in the will evaluate all comments received service of the medically uninsured, during the public comment period to underserved and other vulnerable inform OHIT’s policy direction. populations, and ensuring that key issues affecting the public and private DATES: To be considered, comments adoption of HIT are addressed. The must be received by October 10, 2006. mission of OHIT is to promote quality FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: of care and improvements in patient Anthony Achampong, Division of health outcomes through the adoption Health Information Technology State and effective use of health information and Community Assistance, Office of technology (HIT) in the safety-net Health Information Technology, Health community. OHIT is also responsible for Resources and Services Administration, administering the Telehealth and Health 5600 Fishers Lane, 7C–22, Rockville, Center Controlled Network (HCCN) Maryland 20857; grant programs. OHIT’s goal is to aachampong@hrsa.gov. represent the HIT needs of the safety-net community providers to ensure that a SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In digital divide does not separate care for accordance with Public Health Service pwalker on PRODPC60 with NOTICES BILLING CODE 4163–18–P VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:49 Sep 18, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 patients of HRSA grantees and those receiving care in other sectors. OHIT’s goal is also to provide leadership across the Federal agencies in HIT adoption in the safety-net community. HCCNs are the potential foundation for a HRSA strategy on HIT adoption and use by section 330 grantees. The HCCN grant program was developed in 1994 to support the creation, development, and operation of networks, controlled by health centers, to ensure access to health care for the medically underserved populations through the enhancement of health center operations. The HCCNs routinely perform core business functions across their marketplace, State, or region. The core business functions range from electronic health records, credentialing and privileging programs, utilization review and management, and clinical quality improvement. They provide these functions at or below marketplace cost to their members to increase efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve health care quality for underserved and uninsured populations. As such, the HCCNs are vital to achieving the President’s goal of assuring that every American in the Nation will have an Electronic Health Record (EHR) by 2014. HRSA’S Quality Initiative In May 2006, HRSA reconfirmed its goal to improve the quality of health service and health outcomes for all the patients served by HRSA grantees including the 14.5 million patients served by health centers, and announced a commitment to develop new reporting requirements to measure and document clinical outcomes. It is expected that further development of the HIT infrastructure used by health centers and other HRSA grantees will E:\FR\FM\19SEN1.SGM 19SEN1 54830 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 181 / Tuesday, September 19, 2006 / Notices pwalker on PRODPC60 with NOTICES take place in the context of HRSA’s quality initiative. As such, HRSA’s goal is not simply to collect data; it is also important that the data be used to track individual and population health outcomes and improve patient care. The long-term vision of HRSA and OHIT is to transform systems of care for safetynet populations through the effective use of HIT. HIT is an important tool in measuring and improving patient care. For example, the data available in EHRs can be used to better manage the treatment of chronic diseases, inform clinical and operational processes, and target community-oriented primary care resources. As the lessons of the HRSA Health Disparities Collaborative have shown, collecting and using data to drive system change is a fundamental part of improving patient care and related health outcomes. Goals for OHIT Network Activities Given that the HCCN grants are administered by OHIT and that they have a proven track record in promoting HIT adoption, OHIT is considering possible ways to modify the HCCN grant program to further promote effective adoption and implementation of HIT initiatives, including EHRs, which result in improved quality of care and patient outcomes. HRSA plans to utilize the authorities cited above to fund HCCNs. Although only entities receiving section 330 funding are eligible to be the applicant/lead grantee, an HCCN may include organizations in addition to section 330 grantees that are community based and have similar goals and missions such as Federally Qualified Health Center Look-A likes, locally funded clinics, etc. The purpose of developing and implementing new strategies and changing the direction of HRSA’s network activities is to take the lessons learned from the previous HRSA grant programs, continue to build on these successes, and create more network solutions for promoting HIT adoption by 330 grantees and other safety-net providers. HRSA is considering restructuring the HCCN grant program to focus solely on projects that promote HIT adoption. These HIT-focused projects could be funded in two phases: (1) Planning and implementation and (2) innovation and sustainability. This possible move to an HIT-focused grant program would advance the President’s goals related to HIT and the adoption of EHRs. The intent would be to fund HITfocused projects that will result in improvements in patient outcomes and quality. To be considered successful, these HIT initiatives must result in measurable increases in EHR adoption VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:49 Sep 18, 2006 Jkt 208001 by health centers, and in clinical and operational improvements in quality and patient health outcomes. Request for Comments The Office of Health Information Technology is requesting comments on the future direction of investments and strategy in HIT using the HCCN model. Respondents should take into account the likelihood that HRSA programs may not grow substantially in the near future and that we may face budget limitations. The following areas provide guidance for the type of feedback we are requesting: 1. Challenges and opportunities in restructuring the HCCN grant program. Other approaches to consider in promoting quality of care and improvements in patient outcomes through HIT adoption for minority and underserved populations. 2. Key considerations that should be taken into account when designing the new funding opportunities to reach the ultimate goal of using HIT via the HCCN approach to increase EHR adoption and to improve quality of care and health outcomes. 3. Types of HIT investments, other than EHRs, that HRSA should consider investing in, to improve quality of care and health outcomes. 4. Benefits of funding networks to provide HIT support to health centers and other safety net providers. Types of incentives, if any, to encourage health centers, and other HRSA grantees to join networks. 5. Capacity needed for a network to promote HIT among a group of health centers and other HRSA grantees, such as number of health centers and/or number of patients included. 6. If and/or how HRSA should consider retaining the HCCN administrative, financial and clinical core services in the proposed funding opportunities as they relate to promoting HIT adoption? 7. Model practices in other parts of the safety net or private industry to build key HIT capacities in underresourced environments. 8. Quality and safety issues that could be addressed with the appropriate use of HIT in the safety net organizations. 9. The role of Telehealth in the overall HIT strategy. 10. Linking quality of care and improvement of patient outcomes to these strategies to ensure that the ultimate goal of improving care is met. 11. Performance measures (process and/or outcome) to indicate progress/ success of HRSA-funded HIT initiatives. PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 12. Expectations for networks around sustainability, including long-term sources of funding. 13. Collaboration between Primary Care Associations (PCAs) and HCCNs in the adoption of effective HIT by safetynet providers and the use of HIT to improve quality and patient outcomes. 14. Approaches to include State Medicaid agencies, public health departments, other HRSA grantees, and other providers and stakeholders in HIT adoption. Approaches to a coordinated approach in a State or community for health information technology/exchange use and support. 15. Any other comments related to OHIT’s policy direction related to networks and the use of HIT to expand EHR adoption and improve quality and patient outcomes. Collection. All comments will become a matter of public record. Dated: September 7, 2006. Elizabeth M. Duke, Administrator. [FR Doc. E6–15489 Filed 9–18–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165–15–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [USCG–2006–25800] Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget: OMB Control Number 1625– 0012 Coast Guard, DHS. Request for comments. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Coast Guard intends to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to request a revision for the following collection of information: 1625–0012, Certificate of Discharge to Merchant Mariners. Before submitting the ICR to OMB, the Coast Guard is inviting comments on it as described below. DATES: Comments must reach the Coast Guard on or before November 20, 2006. ADDRESSES: To make sure that your comments and related material do not enter the docket [USCG–2006–25800] more than once, please submit them by only one of the following means: (1) By mail to the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), room PL–401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590–0001. E:\FR\FM\19SEN1.SGM 19SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 181 (Tuesday, September 19, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 54829-54830]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-15489]


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DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Health Resources and Services Administration


Strategy To Support Health Information Technology Among HRSA's 
Safety Net Providers

AGENCY: Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), HHS.

ACTION: Solicitation of comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: HRSA is requesting comments on the future direction and 
strategy regarding investments in health information technology (HIT) 
for section 330 grantees and other HRSA safety-net providers through 
its Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT). OHIT will evaluate 
all comments received during the public comment period to inform OHIT's 
policy direction.

DATES: To be considered, comments must be received by October 10, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anthony Achampong, Division of Health 
Information Technology State and Community Assistance, Office of Health 
Information Technology, Health Resources and Services Administration, 
5600 Fishers Lane, 7C-22, Rockville, Maryland 20857; 
aachampong@hrsa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with Public Health Service 
Act, Title III, section 330(e)(1)(C), and 330(c)(1)(B) and 
330(c)(1)(C).

Background

    The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency 
of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary 
Federal agency for improving access to health care services for people 
who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable. Comprising five 
bureaus and 12 offices, HRSA provides leadership and financial support 
to health care providers in every State and U.S. territory. HRSA 
grantees provide health care to uninsured people, people living with 
HIV/AIDS, and pregnant women, mothers and children. They train health 
professionals and improve systems of care in rural communities. HRSA is 
the Nation's access agency--improving health and saving lives by making 
sure the right services are available in the right places at the right 
time.
    The Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT) serves as the 
HRSA Administrator's principal advisor for promoting the adoption of 
HIT in the service of the medically uninsured, underserved and other 
vulnerable populations, and ensuring that key issues affecting the 
public and private adoption of HIT are addressed. The mission of OHIT 
is to promote quality of care and improvements in patient health 
outcomes through the adoption and effective use of health information 
technology (HIT) in the safety-net community. OHIT is also responsible 
for administering the Telehealth and Health Center Controlled Network 
(HCCN) grant programs. OHIT's goal is to represent the HIT needs of the 
safety-net community providers to ensure that a digital divide does not 
separate care for patients of HRSA grantees and those receiving care in 
other sectors. OHIT's goal is also to provide leadership across the 
Federal agencies in HIT adoption in the safety-net community.
    HCCNs are the potential foundation for a HRSA strategy on HIT 
adoption and use by section 330 grantees. The HCCN grant program was 
developed in 1994 to support the creation, development, and operation 
of networks, controlled by health centers, to ensure access to health 
care for the medically underserved populations through the enhancement 
of health center operations. The HCCNs routinely perform core business 
functions across their marketplace, State, or region. The core business 
functions range from electronic health records, credentialing and 
privileging programs, utilization review and management, and clinical 
quality improvement. They provide these functions at or below 
marketplace cost to their members to increase efficiencies, reduce 
costs, and improve health care quality for underserved and uninsured 
populations. As such, the HCCNs are vital to achieving the President's 
goal of assuring that every American in the Nation will have an 
Electronic Health Record (EHR) by 2014.

HRSA'S Quality Initiative

    In May 2006, HRSA reconfirmed its goal to improve the quality of 
health service and health outcomes for all the patients served by HRSA 
grantees including the 14.5 million patients served by health centers, 
and announced a commitment to develop new reporting requirements to 
measure and document clinical outcomes. It is expected that further 
development of the HIT infrastructure used by health centers and other 
HRSA grantees will

[[Page 54830]]

take place in the context of HRSA's quality initiative. As such, HRSA's 
goal is not simply to collect data; it is also important that the data 
be used to track individual and population health outcomes and improve 
patient care. The long-term vision of HRSA and OHIT is to transform 
systems of care for safety-net populations through the effective use of 
HIT. HIT is an important tool in measuring and improving patient care. 
For example, the data available in EHRs can be used to better manage 
the treatment of chronic diseases, inform clinical and operational 
processes, and target community-oriented primary care resources. As the 
lessons of the HRSA Health Disparities Collaborative have shown, 
collecting and using data to drive system change is a fundamental part 
of improving patient care and related health outcomes.

Goals for OHIT Network Activities

    Given that the HCCN grants are administered by OHIT and that they 
have a proven track record in promoting HIT adoption, OHIT is 
considering possible ways to modify the HCCN grant program to further 
promote effective adoption and implementation of HIT initiatives, 
including EHRs, which result in improved quality of care and patient 
outcomes. HRSA plans to utilize the authorities cited above to fund 
HCCNs. Although only entities receiving section 330 funding are 
eligible to be the applicant/lead grantee, an HCCN may include 
organizations in addition to section 330 grantees that are community 
based and have similar goals and missions such as Federally Qualified 
Health Center Look-A likes, locally funded clinics, etc.
    The purpose of developing and implementing new strategies and 
changing the direction of HRSA's network activities is to take the 
lessons learned from the previous HRSA grant programs, continue to 
build on these successes, and create more network solutions for 
promoting HIT adoption by 330 grantees and other safety-net providers. 
HRSA is considering restructuring the HCCN grant program to focus 
solely on projects that promote HIT adoption. These HIT-focused 
projects could be funded in two phases: (1) Planning and implementation 
and (2) innovation and sustainability. This possible move to an HIT-
focused grant program would advance the President's goals related to 
HIT and the adoption of EHRs. The intent would be to fund HIT-focused 
projects that will result in improvements in patient outcomes and 
quality. To be considered successful, these HIT initiatives must result 
in measurable increases in EHR adoption by health centers, and in 
clinical and operational improvements in quality and patient health 
outcomes.

Request for Comments

    The Office of Health Information Technology is requesting comments 
on the future direction of investments and strategy in HIT using the 
HCCN model. Respondents should take into account the likelihood that 
HRSA programs may not grow substantially in the near future and that we 
may face budget limitations. The following areas provide guidance for 
the type of feedback we are requesting:
    1. Challenges and opportunities in restructuring the HCCN grant 
program. Other approaches to consider in promoting quality of care and 
improvements in patient outcomes through HIT adoption for minority and 
underserved populations.
    2. Key considerations that should be taken into account when 
designing the new funding opportunities to reach the ultimate goal of 
using HIT via the HCCN approach to increase EHR adoption and to improve 
quality of care and health outcomes.
    3. Types of HIT investments, other than EHRs, that HRSA should 
consider investing in, to improve quality of care and health outcomes.
    4. Benefits of funding networks to provide HIT support to health 
centers and other safety net providers. Types of incentives, if any, to 
encourage health centers, and other HRSA grantees to join networks.
    5. Capacity needed for a network to promote HIT among a group of 
health centers and other HRSA grantees, such as number of health 
centers and/or number of patients included.
    6. If and/or how HRSA should consider retaining the HCCN 
administrative, financial and clinical core services in the proposed 
funding opportunities as they relate to promoting HIT adoption?
    7. Model practices in other parts of the safety net or private 
industry to build key HIT capacities in under-resourced environments.
    8. Quality and safety issues that could be addressed with the 
appropriate use of HIT in the safety net organizations.
    9. The role of Telehealth in the overall HIT strategy.
    10. Linking quality of care and improvement of patient outcomes to 
these strategies to ensure that the ultimate goal of improving care is 
met.
    11. Performance measures (process and/or outcome) to indicate 
progress/success of HRSA-funded HIT initiatives.
    12. Expectations for networks around sustainability, including 
long-term sources of funding.
    13. Collaboration between Primary Care Associations (PCAs) and 
HCCNs in the adoption of effective HIT by safety-net providers and the 
use of HIT to improve quality and patient outcomes.
    14. Approaches to include State Medicaid agencies, public health 
departments, other HRSA grantees, and other providers and stakeholders 
in HIT adoption. Approaches to a coordinated approach in a State or 
community for health information technology/exchange use and support.
    15. Any other comments related to OHIT's policy direction related 
to networks and the use of HIT to expand EHR adoption and improve 
quality and patient outcomes.
    Collection. All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: September 7, 2006.
Elizabeth M. Duke,
Administrator. 1
 [FR Doc. E6-15489 Filed 9-18-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4165-15-P