Strengthening Regulatory Analysis
Agencies already use analytic tools such as cost-benefit or cost-effectiveness analysis, as appropriate, in setting priorities. To buttress those efforts, HHS will ask the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) to establish an agency-wide Analytics Team to share information, make the quality of analysis more consistent across the Department, and ensure the integration of such analysis into regulatory decision-making to improve the quality of regulation. Because many resources already exist within the Department to strengthen this analytic capacity, the Analytics Team will be composed of economists and other analysts from the various HHS agencies. For example, while FDA and CMS have very different regulatory missions, it may be that one agency’s approach to regulation can inform how the other agency approaches its regulatory activity. Interagency cross pollination may offer opportunities to take advantage of existing expertise. To assist with this, HHS agencies will share online both internally and with stakeholders and the public prior regulatory impact analyses and evaluation studies pertaining to HHS regulatory requirements.
The Analytics Team will review existing practices, establish the protocols for review of regulations on an ongoing basis, establish best practices, and promote consistent approaches to analysis. ASPE will provide guidance and expertise to help the Department ensure that its regulatory impact analyses are as robust as possible. Public commenters also suggested that as agencies gain experience with retrospective review and develop best practices over time, they should update and improve their retrospective analysis guidelines and share any best practices with other federal and state agencies. As a staff office to the HHS Secretary and independent of operating divisions that draft regulations, ASPE is well positioned to assist with this effort. ASPE and the Analytics Team will report to the Deputy Secretary by December 31, 2011, on its recommendations for strengthening the HHS analytic capacity for ongoing retrospective reviews and any other matters consistent with this plan.