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Notice

Medicare Program; Request for Nominations and Meeting of the Practicing Physicians Advisory Council, August 28, 2006

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

This notice announces a request for nominations and the quarterly meeting of the Practicing Physicians Advisory Council (the Council). The Council will meet to discuss certain proposed changes in regulations and manual instructions related to physicians' services, as identified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary). This meeting is open to the public. In addition, this notice invites all organizations representing physicians to submit nominations for consideration to fill five seats that will be vacated by current Council members in 2007.

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DATES:

The Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 28, 2006, from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. e.d.t.

ADDRESSES:

The meeting will be held in Room 705A, 7th floor, in the Hubert H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20201.

Meeting Registration: Persons wishing to attend this meeting must register by contacting Kelly Buchanan, the Designated Federal Official (DFO), by e-mail at PPAC@cms.hhs.gov or by telephone at (410) 786-6132, at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting. This meeting will be held in a Federal Government Building, Hubert H. Humphrey Building, and persons attending the meeting will be required to show a photographic identification, preferably a valid driver's license, and will be listed on an approved security list before persons are permitted entrance. Persons not registered in advance will not be permitted into the Hubert H. Humphrey Building and will not be permitted to attend the Council meeting.

Nomination Requirements: Nominations must be submitted by medical organizations representing physicians. Nominees must have submitted at least 250 claims for physician services under the Medicare program in the previous year. 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. Consideration will be given to each nominee with regard to his or her leadership credentials, geographic and demographic factors, and projected Practicing Physicians Advisory Council needs. Final selections will incorporate the above criteria to maintain a committee membership that is fairly balanced in terms of points of view represented and the committee's function. Selections will be made by February 2007 with new members sworn in during the May 2007 meeting. All nominating organizations will be notified in writing of those candidates selected for committee membership.

Nominations to fill vacancies will be considered if received at the appropriate address, no later than 5 p.m. e.d.t., September 15, 2006. Mail or deliver nominations to the following address: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Center for Medicare Management, Division of Provider Relations and Evaluations, Attention: Kelly Buchanan, Designated Federal Official, Practicing Physicians Advisory Council, 7500 Security Boulevard, Mail Stop C4-11-07, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kelly Buchanan, (410) 786-6132, or e-mail PPAC@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/​home/​regsguidance.asp for additional information and updates on committee activities.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In accordance with section 10(a) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, this notice announces the quarterly meeting of the Practicing Physicians Advisory Council (the Council). The Secretary is mandated by section 1868(a)(1) of the Social Security Act (the Act) to appoint a Practicing Physicians Advisory Council based on nominations submitted by medical organizations representing physicians. The Council meets quarterly to discuss certain proposed changes in regulations and manual instructions related to physicians' services, as identified by the Secretary. To the extent feasible and consistent with statutory deadlines, the Council's consultation must occur before Federal Register 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 (CMS) not later than December 31 of each year.

The Council consists of 15 physicians, including the Chair. 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 before its termination.

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. Section 1868(a)(3) of the Act provides for payment of expenses and per diem for Council members in the same manner as members of other advisory committees appointed by the Secretary. In addition to making these payments, the Department of Health and Human Services and CMS 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 in a manner to ensure appropriate balance of the Council's membership.

The Council held its first meeting on May 11, 1992. The current members are: Anthony Senagore, M.D., Chairperson; Jose Azocar, M.D.; M. Leroy Sprang, M.D.; Karen S. Williams, M.D.; Peter Grimm, D.O.; Carlos R. Hamilton, M.D.; Dennis K. Iglar, M.D.; Joe Johnson, D.C.; Vincent J. Bufalino, M.D.; Tye J. Ouzounian, M.D.; Geraldine O'Shea, D.O.; Laura B. Powers, M.D.; Gregory J. Przybylski, M.D.; Jeffrey A. Ross, DPM, M.D.; and Robert L. Urata, M.D.

The meeting will commence with the Council's Executive Director providing a status report, and the CMS responses to the recommendations made by the Council at the May 22, 2006 meeting, as well as prior meeting recommendations. Additionally, an update will be provided on the Physician Regulatory Issues Team. In accordance with the Council charter, we are requesting assistance with the following agenda topics:

  • Medicare Pricing for Fee-for-Service and Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Pay for Performance: Cost Measurement Development
  • Practice Expense Update
  • Medically Unbelievably Edits (MUEs): Update
  • 5-Year Review and Physician Fee Schedule

For additional information and clarification on these topics, contact the DFO as provided in 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 DFO by 12 noon, e.d.t., August 11, 2006, 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 Kelly Buchanan, DFO, no later than 12 noon, e.d.t., August 11, 2006, for distribution to Council members for review before the meeting. Physicians and medical Start Printed Page 42854organizations not scheduled to speak may also submit written comments to the DFO for distribution no later than 12 noon, e.d.t., August 11, 2006. 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 the DFO by e-mail at PPAC@cms.hhs.gov or by telephone at (410) 786-6132 at least 10 days before the meeting.

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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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Dated: July 14, 2006.

Mark B. McClellan

Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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[FR Doc. E6-11948 Filed 7-27-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4120-01-P