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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 Start Printed Page 42327submitted 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 1320.13(a)(2)(iii). This is necessary to ensure compliance with an initiative of the Administration. The use of normal clearance procedures is reasonably likely to cause a statutory deadline to be missed.

The Competitive Acquisition Program (CAP) is required by Section 303(d) of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 and amends Title XVIII of the Social Security Act (the Act) by adding a new section 1847(B), which establishes a competitive acquisition program for the payment for Part B covered drugs and biologicals furnished on or after January 1, 2006. Physicians will be given a choice between buying and billing these drugs under the average sales price (ASP) system, or obtaining these drugs from vendors selected in a competitive bidding process.

A physician is provided an election process for the selection of an approved CAP vendor on an annual basis. The CAP election agreement will initiate physician participation and designation of their approved CAP vendor and agreement to abide by the CAP program requirements. The Physician Election Agreement will be used annually by physicians to elect to participate in the CAP or to make changes to the previous year's selections.

CMS is requesting OMB review and approval of this collection by August 12, 2005, with a 180-day approval period. Written comments and recommendation will be considered from the public if received by the individuals designated below by August 8, 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 August 8, 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-10167 and

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

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Dated: July 15, 2005.

Michelle Shortt,

Acting Director, Regulations Development Group, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.

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[FR Doc. 05-14476 Filed 7-21-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4120-01-P