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Notice

Privacy Act of 1974; Report of Modified or Altered System

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) (formerly the Health Care Financing Administration).

ACTION:

Notice of modified or altered System of Records (SOR).

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974, we are proposing to modify or alter an SOR, “Individuals Authorized Access to the CMS Data Center, System No. 09-70-0064.” We propose to amend the name of this system to more accurately reflect the purpose of this system to read “Individuals Authorized Access to the CMS Computer Services (IACS).” We propose to delete an unnumbered routine use authorizing disclosure to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Disclosure of data from this system to the SSA is no longer necessary since SSA has been established as a separate agency outside of the HHS and a routine use for the purpose stated is no longer necessary.

The security classification previously reported as “None” will be modified to reflect that data in this system are considered to be “Level Three Privacy Act Sensitive.” We are modifying the language in the remaining routine uses to provide clarity to CMS intention to disclose individual-specific information contained in this system. The routine uses will then be prioritized and reordered according to their usage. We will also take this opportunity to update any sections of this SOR that were affected by the recent reorganization and to modify language in the administrative sections to correspond with language used in other CMS SORs.

The primary purpose of the SOR is for assigning, controlling, tracking, and reporting authorized access to and use of CMS's computerized information and resources. Information in this system will be used will be used to support regulatory and policy functions performed within the Agency or by a contractor or consultant; support constituent requests made to a Congressional representative; and to support litigation involving the Agency related to this SOR. We have provided background information about the proposed system in the Supplementary Information section below. Although the Privacy Act requires only that the Aroutine use” portion of the system be published for comment, CMS invites comments on all portions of this notice. See Effective Dates section for comment period.

EFFECTIVE DATES:

CMS filed a modified or altered system report with the Chair of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, the Chair of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, and the Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on July 19, 2002. To ensure that all parties have adequate time in which to comment, the modified or altered SOR, including routine uses, will become effective 40 days from the publication of the notice, or from the date it was submitted to OMB and the Congress, whichever is later, unless CMS receives comments that require alterations to this notice.

ADDRESSES:

The public should address comments to: Director, Division of Data Liaison and Distribution (DDLD), CMS, Room N2-04-27, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850. Comments received will be available for review at this location, by appointment, during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., eastern daylight time.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kenneth Olga, Technology Services Group, Office of Information Services, CMS, Room N1-19-18, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850. The telephone number is 410-786-4067.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Description of the Modified System

A. Statutory and Regulatory Basis For SOR

In 1994, CMS established an SOR under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 5552(e)(10). Notice of this system, “Individuals Authorized Access to the CMS Data Center, System No. 09-70-0064,” was published at 59 Federal Register (FR) 41330 (Aug. 11, 1994).

II. Collection and Maintenance of Data in the System

A. Scope of the Data Collected

The system contains the name, work address, work phone number, an assigned user identification (UserID) number, an associated password, and the software system(s) that the individual is authorized to use.

B. Agency Policies, Procedures, and Restrictions on the Routine Use

The Privacy Act permits us to disclose information without an individual's consent if the information is to be used for a purpose that is compatible with the purpose(s) for which the information was collected. Any such disclosure of data is known as a “routine use.” The government will only release IACS information that can be associated with an individual as provided for under “Section III.A. Entities Who May Receive Disclosures Under Routine Use.” Both identifiable and non-identifiable data may be disclosed under a routine use. Identifiable data includes individual records with IACS information and identifiers. Non-identifiable data includes individual records with IACS information and masked identifiers or IACS information with identifiers stripped out of the file.

We will only disclose the minimum personal data necessary to achieve the Start Printed Page 48912purpose of IACS. CMS has the following policies and procedures concerning disclosures of information that will be maintained in the system. In general, disclosure of information from the SOR will be approved only for the minimum information necessary to accomplish the purpose of the disclosure after CMS:

1. Determines that the use or disclosure is consistent with the reason that the data is being collected; e.g., developing and refining payment systems and monitoring the quality of care provided to patients.

2. Determines that:

a. The purpose for which the disclosure is to be made can only be accomplished if the record is provided in individually identifiable form;

b. The purpose for which the disclosure is to be made is of sufficient importance to warrant the effect and/or risk on the privacy of the individual that additional exposure of the record might bring; and

c. There is a strong probability that the proposed use of the data would in fact accomplish the stated purpose(s).

3. Requires the information recipient to:

a. Establish administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to prevent unauthorized use of disclosure of the record;

b. Remove or destroy at the earliest time all patient-identifiable information; and

c. Agree to not use or disclose the information for any purpose other than the stated purpose under which the information was disclosed.

4. Determines that the data are valid and reliable.

III. Proposed Routine Use Disclosures of Data in the System

A. Entities Who May Receive Disclosures Under Routine Use

These routine uses specify circumstances, in addition to those provided by statute in the Privacy Act of 1974, under which CMS may release information from the IACS without the consent of the individual to whom such information pertains. Each proposed disclosure of information under these routine uses will be evaluated to ensure that the disclosure is legally permissible, including but not limited to ensuring that the purpose of the disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the information was collected. We are proposing to establish or modify the following routine use disclosures of information maintained in the system:

1. To Agency contractors, or consultants who have been contracted by the Agency to assist in accomplishment of a CMS function relating to the purposes for this SOR and who need to have access to the records in order to assist CMS.

We contemplate disclosing information under this routine use only in situations in which CMS may enter into a contractual or similar agreement with a third party to assist in accomplishing CMS functions relating to purposes for this SOR.

CMS occasionally contracts out certain of its functions when this would contribute to effective and efficient operations. CMS must be able to give a contractor whatever information is necessary for the contractor to fulfill its duties. In these situations, safeguards are provided in the contract prohibiting the contractor from using or disclosing the information for any purpose other than that described in the contract and to return or destroy all information at the completion of the contract.

2. To a Member of Congress or to a congressional staff member in response to an inquiry of the congressional office made at the written request of the constituent about whom the record is maintained.

Individuals sometimes request the help of a Member of Congress in resolving some issue relating to a matter before CMS. The Member of Congress then writes CMS, and CMS must be able to give sufficient information to be responsive to the inquiry.

3. To the Department of Justice (DOJ), court or adjudicatory body when

a. The Agency or any component thereof; or

b. Any employee of the Agency in his or her official capacity; or

c. Any employee of the Agency in his or her individual capacity where the DOJ has agreed to represent the employee; or

d. The United States Government; is a party to litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and by careful review, CMS determines that the records are both relevant and necessary to the litigation.

Whenever CMS is involved in litigation, or occasionally when another party is involved in litigation and CMS's policies or operations could be affected by the outcome of the litigation, CMS would be able to disclose information to the DOJ, court or adjudicatory body involved. A determination would be made in each instance that, under the circumstances involved, the purposes served by the use of the information in the particular litigation is compatible with a purpose for which CMS collects the information.

B. Additional Circumstances Affecting Routine Use Disclosures

This SOR contains Protected Health Information as defined by HHS regulation “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information” (45 CFR parts 160 and 164, 65 FR 82462 (12-28-00), as amended by 66 FR 12434 (2-26-01)). Disclosures of Protected Health Information authorized by these routine uses may only be made if, and as, permitted or required by the “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information”.

In addition, our policy will be to prohibit release even of non-identifiable data, except pursuant to one of the routine uses, if there is a possibility that an individual can be identified through implicit deduction based on small cell sizes (instances where the patient population is so small that individuals who are familiar with the enrollees could, because of the small size, use this information to deduce the identity of the beneficiary).

IV. Safeguards

A. Administrative Safeguards

The IACS system will conform to applicable law and policy governing the privacy and security of Federal automated information systems. These include but are not limited to: The Privacy Act of 1984, Computer Security Act of 1987, the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, and the Office and Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-130, Appendix III, “Security of Federal Automated Information Resources.” CMS has prepared a comprehensive system security plan as required by OMB Circular A-130, Appendix III. This plan conforms fully to guidance issued by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) in NIST Special Publication 800-18, “Guide for Developing Security Plans for Information Technology Systems. Paragraphs A-C of this section highlight some of the specific methods that CMS is using to ensure the security of this system and the information within it.

Authorized users: Personnel having access to the system have been trained in Privacy Act and systems security requirements. Employees and contractors who maintain records in the system are instructed not to release any data until the intended recipient agrees to implement appropriate administrative, technical, procedural, and physical safeguards sufficient to protect the confidentiality of the data and to prevent unauthorized access to the data. In addition, CMS is monitoring the authorized users to ensure against Start Printed Page 48913excessive or unauthorized use. Records are used in a designated work area or workstation and the system location is attended at all times during working hours.

To insure security of the data, the proper level of class user is assigned for each individual user as determined at the Agency level. This prevents unauthorized users from accessing and modifying critical data. The system database configuration includes five classes of database users:

  • Database Administrator class owns the database objects; e.g., tables, triggers, indexes, stored procedures, packages, and has database administration privileges to these objects;
  • Quality Control Administrator class has read and write access to key fields in the database;
  • Quality Indicator Report Generator class has read-only access to all fields and tables;
  • Policy Research class has query access to tables, but are not allowed to access confidential patient identification information; and
  • Submitter class has read and write access to database objects, but no database administration privileges.

B. Physical Safeguards

All server sites have implemented the following minimum requirements to assist in reducing the exposure of computer equipment and thus achieve an optimum level of protection and security for the IACS system:

Access to all servers is controlled, with access limited to only those support personnel with a demonstrated need for access. Servers are to be kept in a locked room accessible only by specified management and system support personnel. Each server requires a specific log-on process. All entrance doors are identified and marked. A log is kept of all personnel who were issued a security card key and/or combination that grants access to the room housing the server, and all visitors are escorted while in this room. All servers are housed in an area where appropriate environmental security controls are implemented, which include measures implemented to mitigate damage to Automated Information System resources caused by fire, electricity, water and inadequate climate controls.

Protection applied to the workstations, servers and databases include:

  • User Log on—Authentication is performed by the Primary Domain Controller/Backup Domain Controller of the log-on domain.
  • Workstation Names—Workstation naming conventions may be defined and implemented at the Agency level.
  • Hours of Operation—May be restricted by Windows NT. When activated all applicable processes will automatically shut down at a specific time and not be permitted to resume until the predetermined time. The appropriate hours of operation are determined and implemented at the Agency level.
  • Inactivity Log-out—Access to the NT workstation is automatically logged out after a specified period of inactivity.
  • Warnings—Legal notices and security warnings display on all servers and workstations.
  • Remote Access Services (RAS)—Windows NT RAS security handles resource access control. Access to NT resources is controlled for remote users in the same manner as local users, by utilizing Windows NT file and sharing permissions. Dial-in access can be granted or restricted on a user-by-user basis through the Windows NT RAS administration tool.

C. Procedural Safeguards

All automated systems must comply with Federal laws, guidance, and policies for information systems security as stated previously in this section. Each automated information system should ensure a level of security commensurate with the level of sensitivity of the data, risk, and magnitude of the harm that may result from the loss, misuse, disclosure, or modification of the information contained in the system.

V. Effect of the Modified System on Individual Rights

A. CMS proposes to establish this system in accordance with the principles and requirements of the Privacy Act and will collect, use, and disseminate information only as prescribed therein. We will only disclose the minimum personal data necessary to achieve the purpose of IACS. Disclosure of information from the SOR will be approved only to the extent necessary to accomplish the purpose of the disclosure. CMS has assigned a higher level of security clearance for the information in this system to provide added security and protection of data in this system.

CMS will take precautionary measures to minimize the risks of unauthorized access to the records and the potential harm to individual privacy or other personal or property rights. CMS will collect only that information necessary to perform the system's functions. In addition, CMS will make disclosure from the proposed system only with consent of the subject individual, or his/her legal representative, or in accordance with an applicable exception provision of the Privacy Act.

CMS, therefore, does not anticipate an unfavorable effect on individual privacy as a result of the disclosure of information relating to individuals.

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Dated: July 22, 2002.

Thomas A. Scully,

Administrator, , Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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09-70-0064

System Name:

“Individuals Authorized Access to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Computer Services (IACS), HHS/CMS/OIS, System No. 09-70-0064.”

Security Classification:

Level 3 Privacy Act Sensitive.

System Location:

CMS Data Center, 7500 Security Boulevard, North Building, First Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

Categories of Individuals Covered by the System:

Individuals with an approved need for access to the computer resources and information maintained by CMS.

Categories of Records in the System:

The system contains the name, work address, work phone number, an assigned user identification (UserID) number, an associated password, and the software system(s) that the individual is authorized to use.

Authority for Maintenance of the System:

Authority for maintenance of the system is given under 5 U.S.C. 552(e)(10).

Purpose(s):

The primary purpose of the SOR is for assigning, controlling, tracking, and reporting authorized access to and use of CMS's computerized information and resources. Information in this system will be used to support regulatory and policy functions performed within the agency or by a contractor or consultant; support constituent requests made to a Congressional representative; and to support litigation involving the Agency related to this SOR.

Routine Uses of Records Maintained in the System, Including Categories or Users and the Purposes of Such Uses:

The Privacy Act allows us to disclose information without an individual's consent if the information is to be used Start Printed Page 48914for a purpose that is compatible with the purpose(s) for which the information was collected. Any such compatible use of data is known as a “routine use.” The proposed routine use in this system meets the compatibility requirement of the Privacy Act. This SOR contains Protected Health Information as defined by HHS regulation “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information” (45 CFR parts 160 and 164, 65 FR 82462 (12-28-00), as amended by 66 FR 12434 (2-26-01)). Disclosures of Protected Health Information authorized by these routine uses may only be made if, and as, permitted or required by the “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information”.

In addition, our policy will be to prohibit release even of non-identifiable data, except pursuant to one of the routine uses, if there is a possibility that an individual can be identified through implicit deduction based on small cell sizes (instances where the patient population is so small that individuals who are familiar with the enrollees could, because of the small size, use this information to deduce the identity of the beneficiary). We are proposing to establish the following routine use disclosures of information that will be maintained in the system:

1. To Agency contractors, or consultants who have been contracted by the Agency to assist in accomplishment of a CMS function relating to the purposes for this SOR and who need to have access to the records in order to assist CMS.

2. To a Member of Congress or to a congressional staff member in response to an inquiry of the congressional office made at the written request of the constituent about whom the record is maintained.

3. To the Department of Justice (DOJ), court or adjudicatory body when:

a. the Agency or any component thereof; or

b. any employee of the Agency in his or her official capacity; or

c. any employee of the Agency in his or her individual capacity where the DOJ has agreed to represent the employee; or

d. the United States Government; is a party to litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and by careful review, CMS determines that the records are both relevant and necessary to the litigation.

Policies and Practices for Storing, Retrieving, Accessing, Retaining, and Disposing of Records in the System:

Storage:

Computer diskette and on magnetic storage media.

Retrievability:

Information can be retrieved by the name and assigned UserID number.

Safeguards:

CMS has safeguards for authorized users and monitors such users to ensure against excessive or unauthorized use. Personnel having access to the system have been trained in the Privacy Act and systems security requirements. Employees who maintain records in the system are instructed not to release any data until the intended recipient agrees to implement appropriate administrative, technical, procedural, and physical safeguards sufficient to protect the confidentiality of the data and to prevent unauthorized access to the data.

In addition, CMS has physical safeguards in place to reduce the exposure of computer equipment and thus achieve an optimum level of protection and security for the IACS system. For computerized records, safeguards have been established in accordance with HHS standards and National Institute of Standards and Technology guidelines; e.g., security codes will be used, limiting access to authorized personnel. System securities are established in accordance with HHS, Information Resource Management (IRM) Circular #10, Automated Information Systems Security Program; CMS Automated Information Systems (AIS) Guide, Systems Securities Policies; and OMB Circular No. A-130 (revised), Appendix III.

Retention and Disposal:

Records are maintained in a secure storage area with identifiers. Disposal occurs three years from the time the individual no longer requires access to the HDC.

System Manager(s) and Address:

Director, Technology Services Group, Office of Information Services, CMS, Room N1-19-18, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850. The telephone number is 410-786-4067.

Notification Procedure:

For purpose of access, the subject individual should write to the system manager who will require the system name, health insurance claim number, and for verification purposes, the subject individual's name (woman's maiden name, if applicable), social security number (SSN) (furnishing the SSN is voluntary, but it may make searching for a record easier and prevent delay), address, date of birth, and sex.

Record Access Procedure:

For purpose of access, use the same procedures outlined in Notification Procedures above. Requestors should also reasonably specify the record contents being sought. (These procedures are in accordance with Department regulation 45 CFR 5b.5(a)(2).)

Contesting Record Procedures:

The subject individual should contact the system manager named above, and reasonably identify the record and specify the information to be contested. State the corrective action sought and the reasons for the correction with supporting justification. (These procedures are in accordance with Department regulation 45 CFR 5b.7.)

Record Source Categories:

Sources of information contained in this records system include data collected from applications submitted by the individuals requiring access to computer services.

Systems Exempted From Certain Provisions of the Act:

None.

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[FR Doc. 02-19022 Filed 7-25-02; 8:45 am]

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