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Notice

Medicare Program; August 30, 2004, Meeting of the Practicing Physicians Advisory Council and Request for Nominations

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with section 10(a) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, this notice announces a meeting of the Practicing Physicians Advisory Council (the Council) and 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, 2005. The Council will be meeting to discuss certain proposed changes in regulations and carrier manual instructions related to physicians' services, as identified by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (the Secretary). This meeting is open to the public.

DATES:

The meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 30, 2004, from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. e.d.t.

ADDRESSES:

The meeting will be held in Room 800, 8th floor, in the Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20201.

Meeting Registration: Persons wishing to attend this meeting must contact John Lanigan, the Designated Federal Official (DFO) by e-mail at Jlanigan@cms.hhs.gov or by telephone at (410) 786-2312, at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting to register. Persons not registered in advance will not be permitted into the Humphrey Building and will not be permitted to attend the Council meeting. Persons attending the meeting will be required to show a photographic identification, preferably a valid driver's license, before entering the building.

Nominations: Nominations to fill vacancies on the Council will be considered if received at the appropriate address, no later than 5 p.m. e.d.t., September 15, 2004. Mail or deliver nominations to the following address: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Center for Medicare Management, Division of Provider Relations and Evaluations, Attention: John Lanigan, Designated Federal Official, Practicing Physicians Advisory Council, 7500 Security Boulevard, Mail Stop C4-10-07, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kenneth Simon, M.D., Executive Director, Practicing Physicians Advisory Council, 7500 Security Blvd., Mail Stop C4-10-07, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850, telephone (410) 786-2312, or e-mail Ksimon@cms.hhs.gov. News media representatives must contact the CMS Press Office, (202) 690-6145. 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.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Secretary is mandated by section 1868 (a) 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 must have 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 as 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 prior to its termination. Section 1868(a)(1) of the Start Printed Page 44036Act provides that nominations for Council membership must be made to the Secretary by medical organizations representing physicians.

The Council held its first meeting on May 11, 1992. The current members are: Jose Azocar, M.D.; James Bergeron, M.D.; Ronald Castellanos, M.D.; Rebecca Gaughan, M.D.; Peter Grimm, D.O.; Carlos R. Hamilton, M.D.; Dennis K. Iglar, M.D.; Joe Johnson, D.C.; Christopher Leggett, M.D.; Barbara McAneny, M.D.; Geraldine O'Shea, D.O.; Laura B. Powers, M.D.; Michael T. Rapp, M.D. (Chairperson); Anthony Senagore, M.D.; and Robert L. Urata, M.D.

The meeting will commence with a status report and our response to recommendations made by the Council at the May 17, 2004 meeting and prior meeting recommendations. Additionally, updates will be provided on the Physician Fee Schedule, Evaluation and Management (E & M) Documentation Guidelines, Medical Economics Index and Proxy Indicators, 2005 Medicare Modernization Act issues and activities, Average Sales Price, and Physician Regulatory Issues Team. In accordance with the Council charter we are requesting assistance with the following agenda topics:

  • Enrollment and Pecos.
  • Chronic Care Improvement Program.
  • Efforts to Improve the Accuracy of Call Center Information.

For additional information and clarification on these topics, contact the Executive Director, listed under the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice. Individual physicians or medical organizations that represent physicians wishing to make a 5-minute oral presentation on agenda issues must contact the Executive Director by 12 noon, August 17, 2004, to be scheduled. Testimony is limited to agenda topics only. The number of oral presentations may be limited by the time available. A written copy of the presenter's oral remarks must be submitted to John Lanigan, Designated Federal Official, no later than 12 noon, August 17, 2004, for distribution to Council members for review prior to the meeting. Physicians and medical organizations not scheduled to speak may also submit written comments to the Designated Federal Officer for distribution. The meeting is open to the public, but attendance is limited to the space available.

Special Accommodations: Individuals requiring sign language interpretation or other special accommodation must contact John Lanigan by e-mail at Jlanigan@cms.hhs.gov or by telephone at (410) 786-2312 at least 10 days before the meeting.

This notice also 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(a)(2) of the Act provides that the Council meet quarterly to discuss certain proposed changes in regulations and manual issuances that relate to physicians' services, identified by the Secretary. Council members are expected to participate in all meetings. Section 1868(a)(3) 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, we provide 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 Pub. L. 92-463 (5 U.S.C. App. 2, section 10(a))

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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)

Dated: July 15, 2004.

Mark McClellan,

Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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[FR Doc. 04-16526 Filed 7-22-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4120-01-P