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

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AGENCY:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMMS).

In compliance with the requirement of section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Centers for Medicare & 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 the normal procedures are likely to cause a statutory deadline to be missed.

Under Section 1860D-22 of the Social Security Act, added by the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) and implementing regulations at 42 CFR Section 423.880 plan sponsors (employers, unions etc.) who offer prescription drug coverage to their qualified covered retirees are eligible to receive a 28% tax-free subsidy for allowable drug costs. Plan sponsors must submit a complete application to CMS in order to be considered for the Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) program. All systems must be operational January 1, 2006, the effective date for the MMA. In order to meet this statutorily mandated date, CMS is working diligently to establish the systems, procedures, and documents necessary to implement the RDS program. CMS is seeking an emergency Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) approval for the RDS Payment and Reconciliation specifications and instructions.

CMS is requesting OMB review and approval of this collection by October 24, 2005, with a 180-day approval period. Written comments and recommendations will be accepted from the public if received by the individuals designated below by October 22, 2005.

Type of Information Collection Request: New Collection; Title of Information Collection: Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) Payment Request and Instructions; Use: Under the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003 and implementing regulations at 42 CFR Subpart R plan sponsors (employers, unions) who offer prescription drug coverage to their qualified covered retirees are eligible to receive a 28% tax-free subsidy for allowable drug costs. In order to qualify, plan sponsors must submit a complete application to CMS with a list of retirees for whom it intends to collect the subsidy; Form Number: CMS-10170 (OMB#: 0938-NEW); Frequency: Quarterly, Monthly, Annually; Affected Public: Business or other for-profit, Not-for-profit institutions, Federal, State, Local and Tribal Government; Number of Respondents: 50,000; Total Annual Responses: 50,000; Total Annual Hours: 2,025,000.

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 received by the designees referenced below by October 22, 2005:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Room C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850. Attn: Melissa Musotto, CMS-10170

  and,

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

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Dated: September 20, 2005.

Michelle Shortt,

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

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[FR Doc. 05-19070 Filed 9-22-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4120-03-P