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Notice

Medicare Program; The Practicing Physicians Advisory Council's Request for Nominations

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

This notice invites all organizations representing physicians to submit nominees for membership on the Council. There will be several vacancies on the Council as of February 28, 2004.

DATES:

Nominations will be considered if received at the appropriate address, no later than 5 p.m. (EST) December 26, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Mail or deliver nominations to the following address: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Center for Medicare Management, Division of Provider Relations and Evaluations, Attention: Cheryl L. Slay, Designated Federal Official, Practicing Physicians Advisory Council, 7500 Security Boulevard, Mail Stop C4-11-27, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kenneth Simon, M.D., Executive Director, Practicing Physicians Advisory Council, 7500 Security Boulevard, Mail Stop C4-10-07, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850, (410) 786-3377. Please refer to the CMS Advisory Committees Information Line: (1-877-449-5659 toll free)/(410-786-9379 local) or the Internet at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/​faca/​ppac/​default.asp for additional information and updates on committee activities. News media representatives must contact the CMS Press Office, (202) 690-6145.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) is mandated by section 1868 of the Social Security Act (the Act) to appoint a Practicing Physicians Advisory Council (the Council) based on nominations submitted by medical organizations representing physicians. The Council meets quarterly to discuss certain proposed changes in regulations and carrier manual instructions related to physicians' services, as identified by the Secretary. To the extent feasible and consistent with statutory deadlines, the consultation must occur before publication of the proposed changes. The Council submits an annual report on its recommendations to the Secretary and the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services not later than December 31 of each year.

The Council consists of 15 physicians, each of whom has submitted at least 250 claims for physicians' services under Medicare in the previous year. Members of the Council include both participating and nonparticipating physicians, and physicians practicing in rural and underserved urban areas. At least 11 members of the Council must be physicians described in section 1861(r)(1) of the Act; that is, State-licensed doctors of medicine or osteopathy. The remaining 4 members may include dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, and chiropractors. Members serve for overlapping 4-year terms; terms of more than 2 years are contingent upon the renewal of the Council by appropriate action before its termination. Section 1868(a) of the Act provides that nominations to the Secretary for Council membership must be made by medical organizations representing physicians.

The Council held its first meeting on May 11, 1992. The current members are: James Bergeron, M.D.; Ronald Castallanos, M.D.; Rebecca Gaughan, M.D.; Carlos R. Hamilton, M.D.; Joseph Heyman, M.D.; Dennis K. Iglar, M.D.; Christopher Leggett, M.D.; Joe Johnson, D.O.; Barbara McAneny, M.D.; Angelyn L. Moultrie-Lizana, D.O.; Laura B. Powers, M.D.; Michael T. Rapp, M.D.; Amilu Rothhammer, M.D.; Robert L. Urata, M.D.; and Douglas L. Wood, M.D.

This notice serves as an invitation to all organizations representing physicians to submit nominees for membership on the Council. Each nomination must state that the nominee has expressed a willingness to serve as a Council member and must be accompanied by a short resume or description of the nominee's experience. To permit an evaluation of possible sources of conflicts of interest, potential candidates will be asked to provide detailed information concerning financial holdings, consultant positions, research grants, and contracts. Section 1868(b) of the Act provides that the Council meet quarterly to discuss certain proposed changes in regulations and manual issuances that relate to physicians' services, as identified by the Secretary. Council members are expected to participate in all meetings. Section 1868(c) of the Act provides for payment of expenses and a per diem allowance for Council members at a rate equal to payment provided members of other advisory committees. In addition to making these payments, the Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services provides management and support services to the Council. The Secretary will appoint new members to the Council from among those candidates determined to have the expertise required to meet specific agency needs and in a manner to ensure appropriate balance of the Council's membership.

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Authority: (Section 1868 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395ee) and section 10(a) of Public Law 92-463 (5 U.S.C. App. 2, sections 10(a) and 14)

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(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program No. 93.773, Medicare—Hospital Insurance; and Program No. 93.774, Medicare—Supplementary Medical Insurance Program)

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Dated: December 8, 2003.

Thomas A. Scully,

Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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[FR Doc. 03-30791 Filed 12-12-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4120-01-P