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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Agency: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, HHS.

In compliance with the requirement of section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) (formerly known as the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA)), Department of Health and Human Services, is publishing the following summary of proposed collections for public comment. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including any of the following subjects: (1) The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

1. Type of Information Collection Request: Extension of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Subpart D—Private Contracts and Supporting Regulations in 42 CFR 405.410, 405.430, 405.435, 405.440, 405.445, 405.455, 410.61, 415.110, and 424.24; Form No.: CMS-R-234 (OMB# 0938-0730); Use: Section 4507 of the BBA of 1997 amended section 1802 of the Social Security Act to permit certain physicians and practitioners to opt-out of Medicare and to provide through private contracts services that would otherwise be covered by Medicare. Under such contracts the mandatory claims submission and limiting charge rules of section 1848(g) of the Act would not apply. Subpart D and the Supporting Regulations contained in 42 CFR 405.410, 405.430, 405.435, 405.440, 405.445, and 405.455, counters the effect of certain provisions of Medicare law that, absent section 4507 of BBA 1997, preclude physicians and practitioners from contracting privately with Medicare beneficiaries to pay without regard to Medicare limits; Frequency: Biennially; Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; Number of Respondents: 26,820; Total Annual Responses: 26,820; Total Annual Hours: 7,197.

2. Type of Information Request: Revision of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Medicare Secondary Payer Information Collection and Supporting Regulations in 42 CFR 411.25, 489.2, and 489.20; Form Number: CMS-250 through CMS-254 (OMB# 0938-0214); Use: Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) is essentially the same concept known in the private insurance industry as coordination of benefits and refers to those situations where Medicare does not have primary responsibility for paying the medical expenses of a Medicare beneficiary. CMS contracts with health insuring organizations, herein referred to as intermediaries and carriers, to process Medicare claims. CMS charges its Medicare intermediaries and carriers with various tasks to detect MSP cases; develops and disseminates tools to enable them to better perform their tasks; and monitors their performance in achievement of their assigned MSP functions. Because intermediaries and carriers are also marketing health insurance products that may have liability when Medicare is secondary, the MSP provisions create the potential for conflict of interest. Recognizing this inherent conflict, CMS has taken steps to ensure that its intermediaries and carriers process claims in accordance with the MSP provisions, regardless of what other insurer is primary. These information collection requirements describe the MSP requirements and consist of the following:

1. Initial enrollment questionnaire.

2. MSP claims investigation, which consists of first claim development, trauma code development, self-reporting MSP liability development, notice to responsible third party development (411.25 notice), secondary claims development, and “08” development (involving claims where information cannot be obtained from the beneficiary).

3. Provider MSP development, which requires the provider to request information from the beneficiary or representative during admission and other encounters; Frequency: On occasion; Affected Public: Individuals or households, Business or other for-profit, and Not-for-profit institutions; Number of Respondents: 134,553,682; Total Annual Responses: 134,553,682; Total Annual Hours Requested: 1,518,616.

To obtain copies of the supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed paperwork collections referenced above, access CMS's Web site address at http://cms.hhs.gov/​regulations/​pra/​default.asp, or E-mail your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to Paperwork@hcfa.gov, or call the Reports Clearance Office on (410) 786-1326. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collections must be mailed within 60 days of this notice directly to the CMS Paperwork Clearance Officer designated at the following address: CMS, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Division of Regulations Development and Issuances, Attention: Melissa Musotto, Room C5-14-03, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

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Dated: December 12, 2003.

Julie Brown,

Acting, Paperwork Reduction Act Team Leader, Office of Strategic Operations and Strategic Affairs, Division of Regulations Development and Issuances.

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[FR Doc. 03-31358 Filed 12-18-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4120-03-P