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Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) [44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)]. This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Employment Standards Administration is soliciting comments concerning the proposed collection: Pharmacy Billing Requirements. A copy of the proposed information collection request can be obtained by contacting the office listed below in the addressee section of this Notice.


Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the addressee section below on or before October 14, 2003.


Ms. Hazel M. Bell, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., Room S-3201, Washington, DC 20210, telephone (202) 693-0418, FAX (202) 693-1451, e-mail Please use only one method of transmission for comments (mail, FAX, or e-mail).

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I. Background

The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) administers the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA), 5 U.S.C. 8101, et seq., the Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA), 30 U.S.C. 901 et seq., and the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA), 42 U.S.C. 7384 et seq. These Acts provide, in addition to compensation for employment-related injuries and/or illnesses, medical benefits in the form of prescription drugs dispensed by pharmacies for treatment of the compensable injury or illness. To determine whether bills submitted by pharmacies for medicinal drugs, equipment and supplies are appropriate, the FECA, BLBA, and EEOICPA programs require that the providers billing the government supply certain information. The majority of pharmacy bills submitted to OWCP are now submitted electronically using one of the industry-wide standard formats for the electronic transmission of billing data through nationwide data clearinghouses devised by the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP). This recent development has led OWCP to drop Form 79-1A as the required paper billing format for this information collection. However, since some pharmacy bills are still submitted using paper-based billing formats, OWCP will continue to accept the paper-based bills as long as they contain the required data elements needed to process the bills. This information collection is currently approved for use through January 31, 2004.

II. Review Focus

The Department of Labor is particularly interested in comments which:

  • evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
  • evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
  • enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

III. Current Actions

The Department of Labor seeks approval for the extension of this information collection in order to carry out its responsibility to provide payment for pharmaceuticals covered under the Acts.

Type of Review: Extension.

Agency: Employment Standards Administration.

Title: Pharmacy Billing Requirements.

OMB Number: 1215-0194.

Agency Number:

Affected Public: Individual or households; Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions.

Total Respondents: 17,295.

Total Responses: 899,331.

Time per Response: 5 minutes.

Frequency: On Occassion.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 76,644.

Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.

Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): $0.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

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Dated: August 6, 2003.

Bruce Bohanon,

Chief, Branch of Management Review and Internal Control, Division of Financial Management, Office of Management, Administration and Planning, Employment Standards Administration.

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[FR Doc. 03-20578 Filed 8-12-03; 8:45 am]