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Notice

Emergency Clearance: Public Information Collection Requirements Submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

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AGENCY:

Center 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), 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.

We are, however, requesting an emergency review of the information collection referenced below. In compliance with the requirement of section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we have submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the following requirements for emergency review. We are requesting an emergency review because the collection of this information is needed before the expiration of the normal time limits under OMB's regulations at 5 CFR part 1320. This is necessary to ensure compliance with an initiative of the Administration. We cannot reasonably comply with the normal clearance procedures, because of a possible public harm that will ensue from delay or denial of access to the new Eligibility verification process described in this notice. Start Printed Page 35254

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is requesting that a paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) package for a new CMS Real-Time Eligibility Agreement and Access Request form be processed under the emergency clearance process. The approval of this data collection process is essential in order to support the necessary national database and infrastructure to process Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) compliant health care eligibility inquiries (270) and responses (271) in a real-time basis.

CMS is requiring that trading partners who wish to conduct the eligibility transaction on a real-time basis to access Medicare beneficiary information provide certain assurances as a condition of receiving access to the Medicare database for the purpose of conducting eligibility verification. Health care providers, clearinghouses, and health plans that wish to access the Medicare database are required to complete the access request form. The information will be used to assure that those entities that access the Medicare database are aware of applicable provisions and penalties.

CMS is requesting OMB review and approval of this collection by July 1, 2005, with a 180-day approval period. Written comments and recommendation will be accepted from the public if received by the individuals designated below by June 28, 2005.

To obtain copies of the supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed paperwork collections referenced above, access CMS' Web site address at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/​regulations/​pra or e-mail your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to Paperwork@cms.hhs.gov, or call the Reports Clearance Office on (410) 786-1326.

Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding the burden or any other aspect of these collections of information requirements. However, as noted above, comments on these information collection and recordkeeping requirements must be mailed and/or faxed to the designees referenced below by June 28, 2005:

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Room C5-13-27, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850. Fax Number: (410) 786-0262, Attn: William N. Parham, III, CMS-10157; and

OMB Human Resources and Housing Branch, Attention: Christopher Martin, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503.

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Dated: June 3, 2005.

Jim L. Wickliffe,

CMS Reports Clearance Officer, Regulations Development Group, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.

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[FR Doc. 05-11721 Filed 6-16-05; 8:45 am]

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