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Notice

Privacy Act of 1974; Report of Modified or Altered System

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AGENCY:

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

ACTION:

Notice of modified or altered system of records (SOR).

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974, we are proposing to modify or alter a SOR, “Carrier Medicare Claims Record (CMCR) System,” System No. 09-70-0501, most recently modified at 67 Federal Register 54428 (August 22, 2002). We propose to change the name of this system to more closely reflect the name of the program used for the processing of Part B claims. We will modify the name to read: “Medicare Multi-Carrier Claims System (MCS).” We propose to modify existing routine use number 1 that permits disclosure to agency contractors and consultants to include disclosure to CMS grantees who perform a task for the agency. CMS grantees, charged with completing projects or activities that require CMS data to carry out that activity, are classified separate from CMS contractors and/or consultants. The modified routine use will remain as routine use number 1. We will modify Start Printed Page 64969existing routine use number 5 that permits disclosure to Peer Review Organizations (PRO). Organizations previously referred to as PROs will be renamed to read: Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO). Information will be disclosed to QIOs relating to assessing and improving quality of care as well as proper payment of claims. The modified routine use will remain as routine use number 5. We will delete routine use number 8 authorizing disclosure to support constituent requests made to a congressional representative. If an authorization for the disclosure has been obtained from the data subject, then no routine use is needed. The Privacy Act allows for disclosures with the “prior written consent” of the data subject. We will broaden the scope of routine uses number 10 and 11, authorizing disclosures to combat fraud and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid programs to include combating “waste” which refers to specific beneficiary/recipient practices that result in unnecessary cost to all Federally-funded health benefit programs.

We are modifying the language in the remaining routine uses to provide a proper explanation as to the need for the routine use and to provide clarity to CMS's intention to disclose individual-specific information contained in this system. The routine uses will then be prioritized and reordered according to their usage. We will also take the opportunity to update any sections of the system that were affected by the recent reorganization or because of the impact of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) (Public Law 108-173) provisions and to update language in the administrative sections to correspond with language used in other CMS SORs.

The primary purpose of the SOR is to properly pay medical insurance benefits to or on behalf of entitled beneficiaries. Information in this system will also be released to: (1) Support regulatory and policy functions performed within the Agency or by a contractor, consultant, or grantee; (2) assist another Federal or state agency, agency of a state government, an agency established by state law, or its fiscal agent; (3) assist third party contacts; (4) support providers and suppliers of services dealing through fiscal intermediaries or carriers; (5) support Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO); (6) assist insurance companies and other groups providing protection for their enrollees, insurers and other groups providing protection against medical expenses who are primary payers to Medicare in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 1395y (b); (7) support an individual or organization for a research, evaluation, or epidemiological project; (8) support litigation involving the Agency related to this SOR; and (9) combat fraud, waste, and abuse in certain Federally-funded health care programs. We have provided background information about the modified system in the “Supplementary Information” section below. Although the Privacy Act requires only that CMS provide an opportunity for interested persons to comment on the proposed routine uses, CMS invites comments on all portions of this notice. See “Effective Dates” section for comment period.

EFFECTIVE DATES:

CMS filed a modified or altered system report with the Chair of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, the Chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, and the Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on 10/30/2006. To ensure that all parties have adequate time in which to comment, the modified system, including routine uses, will become effective 30 days from the publication of the notice, or 40 days from the date it was submitted to OMB and Congress, whichever is later, unless CMS receives comments that require alterations to this notice.

ADDRESSES:

The public should address comments to: CMS Privacy Officer, Division of Privacy Compliance, Enterprise Architecture and Strategy Group, Office of Information Services, CMS, Room N2-04-27, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850. Comments received will be available for review at this location, by appointment, during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., eastern time zone.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Monique Outerbridge, Director, Division of System Operations, Business Applications Management Group, Office of Information Services, CMS, Room N2-07-27, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850. The telephone number is 410-786-2535 or via e-mail at Monique.outerbridge@cms.hhs.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Description of the Modified System

A. Statutory and Regulatory Basis For SOR

Authority for the collection and maintenance of this system is given under the provisions of sections 1842, 1862(b) and 1874 of Title XVIII of the Social Security Act (The Act) (42 United States Code (U.S.C.) 1395u, 1395y(b), and 1395kk).

B. Scope of the Data Collected

The system contains information on Medicare beneficiaries who have submitted claims for Supplemental Medical Insurance (SMI) benefit (Medicare Part B), or individuals whose enrollment in an employer group health benefits plan covers the beneficiary. Information contained in this system consist of request(s) for payment, provider billing for patient services, prepayment plan for group Medicare practice dealing through a carrier, health insurance claim form, request(s) for medical payment, explanation of benefits, request for claim number verification, payment record transmittal, statement of person regarding Medicare payment for medical services furnished deceased patient, report of prior period of entitlement, itemized bills and other similar documents required to support payments to beneficiaries and to physicians and other suppliers of Part B services, and Medicare secondary payer records containing other party liability insurance information necessary for appropriate Medicare claims payment.

II. Collection and Maintenance of Data in the System

A. Agency Policies, Procedures, and Restrictions on the Routine Use

The Privacy Act permits us to disclose information without an individual's consent if the information is to be used for a purpose that is compatible with the purpose(s) for which the information was collected. Any such disclosure of data is known as a “routine use.” The government will only release MCS information that can be associated with an individual as provided for under “Section III. Entities Who May Receive Disclosures Under Routine Use”. Both identifiable and non-identifiable data may be disclosed under a routine use.

We will only disclose the minimum personal data necessary to achieve the purpose of MCS. CMS has the following policies and procedures concerning disclosures of information that will be maintained in the system. In general, disclosure of information from the SOR will be approved only for the minimum information necessary to accomplish the purpose of the disclosure only after CMS:

1. Determines that the use or disclosure is consistent with the reason that the data is being collected, e.g., to properly pay medical insurance benefits to or on behalf of entitled beneficiaries.

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a. The purpose for which the disclosure is to be made can only be accomplished if the record is provided in individually identifiable form;

b. The purpose for which the disclosure is to be made is of sufficient importance to warrant the effect and/or risk on the privacy of the individual that additional exposure of the record might bring; and

c. There is a strong probability that the proposed use of the data would in fact accomplish the stated purpose(s).

3. Requires the information recipient to:

a. Establish administrative, technical, and physical safeguards to prevent unauthorized use of disclosure of the record;

b. Remove or destroy at the earliest time all individually-identifiable information; and

c. Agree to not use or disclose the information for any purpose other than the stated purpose under which the information was disclosed.

4. Determines that the data are valid and reliable.

III. Proposed Routine Use Disclosures of Data in the System

A. Entities Who May Receive Disclosures Under Routine Use

These routine uses specify circumstances, in addition to those provided by statute in the Privacy Act of 1974, under which CMS may release information from the MCS without the consent of the individual to whom such information pertains. Each proposed disclosure of information under these routine uses will be evaluated to ensure that the disclosure is legally permissible, including but not limited to ensuring that the purpose of the disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the information was collected. We are proposing to establish or modify the following routine use disclosures of information maintained in the system:

1. To support agency contractors, consultants, or grantees, who have been engaged by the agency to assist in the performance of a service related to this collection and who need to have access to the records in order to perform the activity. We contemplate disclosing information under this routine use only in situations in which CMS may enter into a contractual or similar agreement with a third party to assist in accomplishing CMS function relating to purposes for this system.

CMS occasionally contracts out certain of its functions when doing so would contribute to effective and efficient operations. CMS must be able to give a contractor, consultant or grantee whatever information is necessary for the contractor or consultant to fulfill its duties. In these situations, safeguards are provided in the contract prohibiting the contractor, consultant or grantee from using or disclosing the information for any purpose other than that described in the contract and requires the contractor, consultant or grantee to return or destroy all information at the completion of the contract.

2. To assist another Federal or state agency, agency of a state government, an agency established by state law, or its fiscal agent pursuant to agreements with CMS to:

a. Contribute to the accuracy of CMS's proper payment of Medicare benefits,

b. Enable such agency to administer a Federal health benefits program, or as necessary to enable such agency to fulfill a requirement of a Federal statute or regulation that implements a health benefits program funded in whole or in part with Federal funds, and/or

c. Assist Federal/state Medicaid programs within the state.

Other Federal or state agencies in their administration of a Federal health program may require MCS information for the purposes of determining, evaluating, and/or assessing cost, effectiveness, and/or the quality of health care services provided in the state, to support evaluations and monitoring of Medicare claims information of beneficiaries, including proper reimbursement for services provided.

The Treasury Department may require MCS data for investigating alleged theft, forgery, or unlawful negotiation of Medicare reimbursement checks.

The USPS may require MCS data for investigating alleged forgery or theft of reimbursement checks.

The RRB requires MCS information to enable them to assist in the implementation and maintenance of the Medicare program.

The SSA requires MCS data to enable them to assist in the implementation and maintenance of the Medicare program.

The IRS may require MCS data for the application of tax penalties against employers and employee organizations that contribute to Employer Group Health Plan or Large Group Health Plans that are not in compliance with 42 U.S.C. 1395y (b). Disclosure under this routine use shall be used by state Medicaid agencies pursuant to agreements with the HHS for administration of state supplementation payments for determinations of eligibility for Medicaid, for enrollment of welfare recipients for medical insurance under section 1843 of the Act, for quality control studies, for determining eligibility of recipients of assistance under Titles IV, and XIX of the Act, and for the complete administration of the Medicaid program. MCS data will be released to the state only on those individuals who are patients under the services of a Medicaid program within the state or who are residents of that state.

Occasionally state licensing boards require access to the MCS data for review of unethical practices or non-professional conduct.

We also contemplate disclosing information under this routine use in situations in which state auditing agencies require MCS information for auditing of Medicare eligibility considerations. Disclosure of physicians' customary charge data is made to state audit agencies in order to ascertain the corrections of Title XIX charges and payments. CMS may enter into an agreement with state auditing agencies to assist in accomplishing functions relating to purposes for this SOR.

State and other governmental worker's compensation agencies working with CMS to assure that workers' compensation payments are made where Medicare has erroneously paid and workers compensation programs are liable.

3. To assist third party contacts (without the consent of the individuals to whom the information pertains) in situations where the party to be contacted has, or is expected to have information relating to the individual's capacity to manage his or her affairs or to his or her eligibility for, or an entitlement to, benefits under the Medicare program and,

a. The individual is unable to provide the information being sought (an individual is considered to be unable to provide certain types of information when any of the following conditions exists: the individual is confined to a mental institution, a court of competent jurisdiction has appointed a guardian to manage the affairs of that individual, a court of competent jurisdiction has declared the individual to be mentally incompetent, or the individual's attending physician has certified that the individual is not sufficiently mentally competent to manage his or her own affairs or to provide the information being sought, the individual cannot read or write, cannot afford the cost of obtaining the information, a language barrier exists, or the custodian of the information will not, as a matter Start Printed Page 64971of policy, provide it to the individual), or

b. the data are needed to establish the validity of evidence or to verify the accuracy of information presented by the individual, and it concerns one or more of the following: the individual's entitlement to benefits under the Medicare program; and the amount of reimbursement; any case in which the evidence is being reviewed as a result of suspected fraud, waste, and abuse, program integrity, quality appraisal, or evaluation and measurement of program activities.

Third parties contacts require MCS information in order to provide support for the individual's entitlement to benefits under the Medicare program; to establish the validity of evidence or to verify the accuracy of information presented by the individual or the representative of the applicant, and assist in the monitoring of Medicare claims information of beneficiaries, including proper reimbursement of services provided.

Senior citizen volunteers working in the carriers and intermediaries' offices to assist Medicare beneficiaries' request for assistance may require access to MCS information.

Occasionally fiscal intermediary/carrier banks, automated clearing houses, value added networks (VAN), and provider banks, to the extent necessary transfer to provider's electronic remittance advice of Medicare payments, and with respect to provider banks, to the extent necessary to provide account management services to providers using this information.

4. To assist providers and suppliers of services dealing through fiscal intermediaries or carriers for the administration of Title XVIII of the Social Security Act.

Providers and suppliers of services require MCS information in order to establish the validity of evidence, or to verify the accuracy of information presented by the individual as it concerns the individual's entitlement to benefits under the Medicare program, including proper reimbursement for services provided.

Providers and suppliers of services who are attempting to validate items on which the amounts included in the annual Physician/Supplier Payment List, or other similar publications are based.

5. To Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO) in connection with review of claims, or in connection with studies or other review activities, conducted pursuant to Part B of Title XI of the Act and in performing affirmative outreach activities to individuals for the purpose of establishing and maintaining their entitlement to Medicare benefits or health insurance plans.

QIOs will work to implement quality improvement programs, provide consultation to CMS, its contractors, and to state agencies. QIOs will assist the state agencies in related monitoring and enforcement efforts, assist CMS and Carriers in program integrity assessment, and prepare summary information for release to CMS.

6. To assist insurance companies, third party administrators (TPA), employers, self-insurers, managed care organizations, other supplemental insurers, non-coordinating insurers, multiple employer trusts, group health plans (i.e., health maintenance organizations (HMOs) or a competitive medical plan (CMP) with a Medicare contract, or a Medicare-approved health care prepayment plan (HCPP)), directly or through a contractor, and other groups providing protection for their enrollees. Information to be disclosed shall be limited to Medicare entitlement data. In order to receive the information, they must agree to:

a. Certify that the individual about whom the information is being provided is one of its insured or employees, or is insured and/or employed by another entity for whom they serve as a TPA;

b. Utilize the information solely for the purpose of processing the identified individual's insurance claims; and

c. Safeguard the confidentiality of the data and prevent unauthorized access.

Other insurers, TPAs, HMOs, and HCPPs may require MCS information in order to support evaluations and monitoring of Medicare claims information of beneficiaries, including proper reimbursement for services provided.

7. To support an individual or organization for a research, evaluation, or epidemiological project related to the prevention of disease or disability, the restoration or maintenance of health, or payment-related projects.

MCS data will provide for research, evaluation, and epidemiological projects, a broader, longitudinal, national perspective of the status of Medicare beneficiaries. CMS anticipates that many researchers will have legitimate requests to use these data in projects that could ultimately improve the care provided to Medicare beneficiaries and the policy that governs the care.

8. To assist the Department of Justice (DOJ), court or adjudicatory body when:

a. The Agency or any component thereof, or

b. Any employee of the Agency in his or her official capacity, or

c. Any employee of the Agency in his or her individual capacity where the DOJ has agreed to represent the employee, or

d. The United States Government, is a party to litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and by careful review, CMS determines that the records are both relevant and necessary to the litigation.

Whenever CMS is involved in litigation, or occasionally when another party is involved in litigation and CMS's policies or operations could be affected by the outcome of the litigation, CMS would be able to disclose information to the DOJ, court, or adjudicatory body involved.

9. To assist a CMS contractor (including, but not limited to FIs and carriers) that assists in the administration of a CMS-administered health benefits program, or to a grantee of a CMS-administered grant program, when disclosure is deemed reasonably necessary by CMS to prevent, deter, discover, detect, investigate, examine, prosecute, sue with respect to, defend against, correct, remedy, or otherwise combat fraud, waste, or abuse in such programs.

We contemplate disclosing information under this routine use only in situations in which CMS may enter into a contract or grant with a third party to assist in accomplishing CMS functions relating to the purpose of combating fraud, waste, and abuse.

CMS occasionally contracts out certain of its functions when doing so would contribute to effective and efficient operations. CMS must be able to give a contractor or grantee whatever information is necessary for the contractor or grantee to fulfill its duties. In these situations, safeguards are provided in the contract prohibiting the contractor or grantee from using or disclosing the information for any purpose other than that described in the contract and requiring the contractor or grantee to return or destroy all information.

10. To assist another Federal agency or to an instrumentality of any governmental jurisdiction within or under the control of the United States (including any state or local governmental agency), that administers, or that has the authority to investigate potential fraud, waste, or abuse in, a health benefits program funded in whole or in part by Federal funds, when disclosure is deemed reasonably necessary by CMS to prevent, deter, discover, detect, investigate, examine, prosecute, sue with respect to, defend against, correct, remedy, or otherwise Start Printed Page 64972combat fraud, waste, or abuse in such programs.

Other agencies may require MCS information for the purpose of combating fraud, waste, and abuse in such Federally-funded programs.

B. Additional Circumstances Affecting Routine Use Disclosures

To the extent this system contains Protected Health Information (PHI) as defined by HHS regulation “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information” (45 CFR Parts 160 and 164, Subparts A and E) 65 FR 82462 (12-28-00). Disclosures of such PHI that are otherwise authorized by these routine uses may only be made if, and as, permitted or required by the “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information.” (See 45 CFR 164-512 (a) (1)).

In addition, our policy will be to prohibit release even of data not directly identifiable, except pursuant to one of the routine uses or if required by law, if we determine there is a possibility that an individual can be identified through implicit deduction based on small cell sizes (instances where the patient population is so small that individuals could, because of the small size, use this information to deduce the identity of the beneficiary).

IV. Safeguards

CMS has safeguards in place for authorized users and monitors such users to ensure against unauthorized use. Personnel having access to the system have been trained in the Privacy Act and information security requirements. Employees who maintain records in this system are instructed not to release data until the intended recipient agrees to implement appropriate management, operational and technical safeguards sufficient to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the information and information systems and to prevent unauthorized access.

This system will conform to all applicable Federal laws and regulations and Federal, HHS, and CMS policies and standards as they relate to information security and data privacy. These laws and regulations include but are not limited to: the Privacy Act of 1974; the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002; the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986; the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996; the E-Government Act of 2002, the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996; the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, and the corresponding implementing regulations. OMB Circular A-130, Management of Federal Resources, Appendix III, Security of Federal Automated Information Resources also applies. Federal, HHS, and CMS policies and standards include but are not limited to: all pertinent National Institute of Standards and Technology publications; the HHS Information Systems Program Handbook and the CMS Information Security Handbook.

V. Effects of the Modified System of Records on Individual Rights

CMS proposes to modify this system in accordance with the principles and requirements of the Privacy Act and will collect, use, and disseminate information only as prescribed therein. Data in this system will be subject to the authorized releases in accordance with the routine uses identified in this system of records.

CMS will take precautionary measures (see item IV above) to minimize the risks of unauthorized access to the records and the potential harm to individual privacy or other personal or property rights of patients whose data are maintained in the system. CMS will collect only that information necessary to perform the system's functions. In addition, CMS will make disclosure from the proposed system only with consent of the subject individual, or his/her legal representative, or in accordance with an applicable exception provision of the Privacy Act. CMS, therefore, does not anticipate an unfavorable effect on individual privacy as a result of information relating to individuals.

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Dated: October 24, 2006.

John R. Dyer,

Chief Operating Officer, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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System No. 09-70-0501

SYSTEM NAME:

“Medicare Multi-Carrier Claims System (MCS),” HHS/CMS/OIS

SECURITY CLASSIFICATION:

Level Three Privacy Act Sensitive Data.

SYSTEM LOCATION:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Data Center, 7500 Security Boulevard, North Building, First Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850. See Appendix A for various remote sites where this system is also maintained.

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

The system contains information on Medicare beneficiaries who have submitted claims for Supplemental Medical Insurance (SMI) benefit (Medicare Part B), or individuals whose enrollment in an employer group health benefits plan covers the beneficiary.

CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

Information contained in this system consist of request(s) for payment, provider billing for patient services, prepayment plan for group Medicare practice dealing through a carrier, health insurance claim form, request(s) for medical payment, explanation of benefits, request for claim number verification, payment record transmittal, statement of person regarding Medicare payment for medical services furnished deceased patient, report of prior period of entitlement, itemized bills and other similar documents required to support payments to beneficiaries and to physicians and other suppliers of Part B services, and Medicare secondary payer records containing other party liability insurance information necessary for appropriate Medicare claims payment.

AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

Authority for the collection and maintenance of this system is given under the provisions of sections 1842, 1862 (b) and 1874 of Title XVIII of the Social Security Act (The Act) (42 United States Code (U.S.C.) 1395u, 1395y (b), and 1395kk).

PURPOSE(S) OF THE SYSTEM:

The primary purpose of the SOR is to properly pay medical insurance benefits to or on behalf of entitled beneficiaries. Information in this system will also be released to: (1) support regulatory and policy functions performed within the Agency or by a contractor, consultant, or grantee; (2) assist another Federal or state agency, agency of a state government, an agency established by state law, or its fiscal agent; (3) assist third party contacts; (4) support providers and suppliers of services dealing through fiscal intermediaries or carriers; (5) support Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO); (6) assist insurance companies and other groups providing protection for their enrollees, insurers and other groups providing protection against medical expenses who are primary payers to Medicare in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 1395y (b); (7) support an individual or organization for a research, evaluation, or epidemiological project; (8) support litigation involving the Agency related to this SOR; and (9) combat fraud, waste, and abuse in certain Federally-funded health care programs.Start Printed Page 64973

ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OR USERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES:

A. The Privacy Act allows us to disclose information without an individual's consent if the information is to be used for a purpose that is compatible with the purpose(s) for which the information was collected. Any such compatible use of data is known as a “routine use.” The proposed routine uses in this system meet the compatibility requirement of the Privacy Act. We are proposing to establish the following routine use disclosures of information maintained in the system:

1. To support agency contractor, consultant or grantee who have been engaged by the agency to assist in the accomplishment of a CMS function relating to the purposes for this system and who need to have access to the records in order to assist CMS.

2. To assist another Federal and/or state agency, agency of a state government, an agency established by state law, or its fiscal agent:

a. Contribute to the accuracy of CMS' proper payment of Medicare benefits,

b. Enable such agency to administer a Federal health benefits program, or as necessary to enable such agency to fulfill a requirement of a Federal statute or regulation that implements a health benefits program funded in whole or in part with Federal funds, and/or

c. Assist Federal/state Medicaid programs within the state.

3. To assist third party contacts (without the consent of the individuals to whom the information pertains) in situations where the party to be contacted has, or is expected to have information relating to the individual's capacity to manage his or her affairs or to his or her eligibility under the Medicare program and,

a. The individual is unable to provide the information being sought (an individual is considered to be unable to provide certain types of information when any of the following conditions exists: the individual is confined to a mental institution, a court of competent jurisdiction has appointed a guardian to manage the affairs of that individual, a court of competent jurisdiction has declared the individual to be mentally incompetent, or the individual's attending physician has certified that the individual is not sufficiently mentally competent to manage his or her own affairs or to provide the information being sought, the individual cannot read or write, cannot afford the cost of obtaining the information, a language barrier exists, or the custodian of the information will not, as a matter of policy, provide it to the individual), or

b. The data are needed to establish the validity of evidence or to verify the accuracy of information presented by the individual, and it concerns one or more of the following: The individual's entitlement to benefits under the Medicare program; and the amount of reimbursement; any case in which the evidence is being reviewed as a result of suspected fraud, waste, and abuse, program integrity, quality appraisal, or evaluation and measurement of program activities.

4. To assist providers and suppliers of services dealing through fiscal intermediaries or carriers for the administration of Title XVIII of the Act.

5. To Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO) in connection with review of claims, or in connection with studies or other review activities, conducted pursuant to Part B of Title XI of the Act and in performing affirmative outreach activities to individuals for the purpose of establishing and maintaining their entitlement to Medicare benefits or health insurance plans.

6. To assist insurance companies, third party administrators (TPA), employers, self-insurers, managed care organizations, other supplemental insurers, non-coordinating insurers, multiple employer trusts, group health plans (i.e., health maintenance organizations (HMO) or a competitive medical plan (CMP) with a Medicare contract, or a Medicare-approved health care prepayment plan (HCPP)), directly or through a contractor, and other groups providing protection for their enrollees. Information to be disclosed shall be limited to Medicare entitlement data. In order to receive the information, they must agree to:

a. Certify that the individual about whom the information is being provided is one of its insured or employees, or is insured and/or employed by another entity for whom the serve as a TPA;

b. Utilize the information solely for the purpose of processing the identified individual's insurance claims; and

c. Safeguard the confidentiality of the data a prevent unauthorized access.

7. To support an individual or organization for a research, evaluation, or epidemiological project related to the prevention of disease or disability, the restoration or maintenance of health, or payment-related projects.

8. To support the Department of Justice (DOJ), court or adjudicatory body when:

a. The agency or any component thereof, or

b. Any employee of the agency in his or her official capacity, or

c. Any employee of the agency in his or her individual capacity where the DOJ has agreed to represent the employee, or

d. The United States Government is a party to litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and by careful review, CMS determines that the records are both relevant and necessary to the litigation and that the use of such records by the DOJ, court or adjudicatory body is compatible with the purpose for which the agency collected the records.

9. To support a CMS contractor (including, but not limited to fiscal intermediaries and carriers) that assists in the administration of a CMS-administered health benefits program, or to a grantee of the CMS-administered grant program, when disclosure is deemed reasonably necessary by CMS to prevent, deter, discover, detect, investigate, examine, prosecute, sue with respect to, defend against, correct, remedy, or otherwise combat fraud, waste, or abuse in such programs.

10. To support another Federal agency or to an instrumentality of any governmental jurisdiction within or under the control of the United States (including any state or local governmental agency), that administers, or that has the authority to investigate potential fraud, waste, or abuse in, a health benefits program funded in whole or in part by Federal funds, when disclosure is deemed reasonably necessary by CMS to prevent, deter, discover, detect, investigate, examine, prosecute, sue with respect to, defend against, correct, remedy, or otherwise combat fraud, waste, or abuse in such programs.

B. Additional Provisions Affecting Routine Use Disclosures

To the extent this system contains Protected Health Information (PHI) as defined by HHS regulation “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information” (45 CFR Parts 160 and 164, Subparts A and E) 65 FR 82462 (12-28-00). Disclosures of such PHI that are otherwise authorized by these routine uses may only be made if, and as, permitted or required by the “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information.” (See 45 CFR 164-512(a)(1)).

In addition, our policy will be to prohibit release even of data not directly identifiable, except pursuant to one of the routine uses or if required by law, if we determine there is a possibility that an individual can be identified through implicit deduction based on small cell sizes (instances where the patient population is so small that individuals who are familiar with the Start Printed Page 64974enrollees could, because of the small size, use this information to deduce the identity of the beneficiary).

POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING, AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

STORAGE:

Records are maintained on paper, computer diskette and on magnetic storage media.

RETRIEVABILITY:

Information can be retrieved by the beneficiary's name, HIC, and assigned unique physician identification number.

SAFEGUARDS:

CMS has safeguards in place for authorized users and monitors such users to ensure against unauthorized use. Personnel having access to the system have been trained in the Privacy Act and information security requirements. Employees who maintain records in this system are instructed not to release data until the intended recipient agrees to implement appropriate management, operational and technical safeguards sufficient to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the information and information systems and to prevent unauthorized access.

This system will conform to all applicable Federal laws and regulations and Federal, HHS, and CMS policies and standards as they relate to information security and data privacy. These laws and regulations include but are not limited to: The Privacy Act of 1974; the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002; the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986; the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996; the E-Government Act of 2002, the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996; the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, and the corresponding implementing regulations. OMB Circular A-130, Management of Federal Resources, Appendix III, Security of Federal Automated Information Resources also applies. Federal, HHS, and CMS policies and standards include but are not limited to: All pertinent National Institute of Standards and Technology publications; the HHS Information Systems Program Handbook and the CMS Information Security Handbook.

RETENTION AND DISPOSAL:

Records are maintained in a secure storage area with identifiers. Records are closed at the end of the fiscal year, in which paid, and destroyed after 6 years and 3 months. All claims-related records are encompassed by the document preservation order and will be retained until notification is received from DOJ.

SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESS:

Director, Division of Systems Operations, Business Applications Management Group, Office of Information Services, CMS, 7500 Security Boulevard, Room N2-07-27, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE:

For purpose of access, the subject individual should write to the system manager who will require the system name, HIC, address, date of birth, and sex, and for verification purposes, the subject individual's name (woman's maiden name, if applicable), social security number (SSN). Furnishing the SSN is voluntary, but it may make searching for a record easier and prevent delay.

RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURE:

For purpose of access, use the same procedures outlined in Notification Procedures above. Requestors should also reasonably specify the record contents being sought. (These procedures are in accordance with Department regulation 45 CFR 5b.5(a)(2)).

CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES:

The subject individual should contact the system manager named above, and reasonably identify the record and specify the information to be contested. State the corrective action sought and the reasons for the correction with supporting justification. (These procedures are in accordance with Department regulation 45 CFR 5b.7).

RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:

Sources of information contained in this records system is obtained from third party agencies, Social Security Administration's Master Beneficiary Record, and CMS's Enrollment Database.

SYSTEMS EXEMPTED FROM CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE ACT:

None.

Appendix A.—Health Insurance Claims

Medicare records are maintained at the CMS Central Office (see section 1 below for the address). Health Insurance Records of the Medicare program can also be accessed through a representative of the CMS Regional Office (see section 2 below for addresses). Medicare claims records are also maintained by private insurance organizations that share in administering provisions of the health insurance programs. These private insurance organizations, referred to as carriers and intermediaries, are under contract to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Social Security Administration to perform specific task in the Medicare program (see section three below for addresses for intermediaries, section four addresses the carriers, and section five addresses the Payment Safeguard Contractors.

I. Central Office Address

CMS Data Center, 7500 Security Boulevard, North Building, First Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

II. CMS Regional Offices

Boston Region—Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont. John F. Kennedy Federal Building, Room 1211, Boston, Massachusetts 02203. Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

New York Region—New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands. 26 Federal Plaza, Room 715, New York, New York 10007, Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Philadelphia Region—Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia. Post Office Box 8460, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19101. Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Atlanta Region—Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee. 101 Marietta Street, Suite 702, Atlanta, Georgia 30223, Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Chicago Region—Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin. Suite A-824, Chicago, Illinois 60604. Office Hours: 8 a.m.-4:45 p.m.

Dallas Region—Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, 1200 Main Tower Building, Dallas, Texas. Office Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Kansas City Region—Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska. New Federal Office Building, 601 East 12th Street-Room 436, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. Office Hours: 8 a.m.-4:45 p.m.

Denver Region—Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming. Federal Office Building, 1961 Stout St-Room 1185, Denver, Colorado 80294. Office Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

San Francisco Region—American Samoa, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada. Federal Office Building, 10 Van Ness Avenue, 20th Floor, San Francisco, California 94102. Office Hours: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Seattle Region—Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington. 1321 Second Avenue, Room 615, Mail Stop 211, Seattle, Washington 98101. Office Hours 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

III. Intermediary Addresses (Hospital Insurance)

Medicare Coordinator, Assoc. Hospital Serv. Maine (ME BC), 2 Gannett Drive, South Portland, ME 04106-6911.

Medicare Coordinator, Anthem New Hampshire, 300 Goffs Falls Road, Manchester, NH 03111-0001.

Medicare Coordinator, BC/BS Rhode Island (RI BC), 444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903-3279.

Medicare Coordinator, Empire Medicare Services, 400 S. Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 13202.Start Printed Page 64975

Medicare Coordinator, Cooperativa, P.O. Box 363428, San Juan, PR 00936-3428.

Medicare Coordinator, Maryland B/C, P.O. Box 4368, 1946 Greenspring Ave., Timonium, MD 21093.

Medicare Coordinator, Highmark, P5103, 120 Fifth Avenue Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-3099.

Medicare Coordinator, United Government Services, 1515 N. Rivercenter Dr., Milwaukee, WI 53212.

Medicare Coordinator, Alabama B/C, 450 Riverchase Parkway East, Birmingham, AL 35298.

Medicare Coordinator, Florida B/C, 532 Riverside Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32202-4918.

Medicare Coordinator, Georgia B/C, P.O. Box 9048, 2357 Warm Springs Road, Columbus, GA 31908.

Medicare Coordinator, Mississippi B/C B MS, P.O. Box 23035, 3545 Lakeland Drive, Jackson, MI 39225-3035.

Medicare Coordinator, North Carolina B/C, P.O. Box 2291, Durham, NC 27702-2291.

Medicare Coordinator, Palmetto GBA A/RHHI, 17 Technology Circle, Columbia, SC 29203-0001.

Medicare Coordinator, Tennessee B/C, 801 Pine Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402-2555.

Medicare Coordinator, Anthem Insurance Co. (Anthem In), P.O. Box 50451, 8115 Knue Road, Indianapolis, IN 46250-1936.

Medicare Coordinator, Arkansas B/C, 601 Gaines Street, Little Rock, AR 72203.

Medicare Coordinator, Group Health Of Oklahoma, 1215 South Boulder, Tulsa, OK 74119-2827.

Medicare Coordinator, TrailBlazer, P.O. Box 660156, Dallas, TX 75266-0156.

Medicare Coordinator, Cahaba GBA, Station 7, 636 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50309-2551.

Medicare Coordinator, Kansas B/C, P.O. Box 239, 1133 Topeka Ave., Topeka, KS 66629-0001.

Medicare Coordinator, Nebraska B/C, P.O. Box 3248, Main Po Station, Omaha, NE 68180-0001.

Medicare Coordinator, Mutual Of Omaha, P.O. Box 1602, Omaha, NE 68101.

Medicare Coordinator, Montana B/C, P.O. Box 5017, Great Falls Div., Great Falls, MT 59403-5017.

Medicare Coordinator, Noridian, 4510 13th Avenue S.W., Fargo, ND 58121-0001.

Medicare Coordinator, Utah B/C, P.O. Box 30270, 2455 Parleys Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0270.

Medicare Coordinator, Wyoming B/C, 4000 House Avenue, Cheyenne, WY 82003.

Medicare Coordinator, Arizona B/C, P.O. Box 37700, Phoenix, AZ 85069.

Medicare Coordinator, UGS, P.O. Box 70000, Van Nuys, CA 91470-0000.

Medicare Coordinator, Regents BC, P.O. Box 8110 M/S D-4A, Portland, OR 97207-8110.

Medicare Coordinator, Premera BC, P.O. Box 2847, Seattle, WA 98111-2847.

IV. Medicare Carriers

Medicare Coordinator, NHIC, 75 Sargent William Terry Drive, Hingham, MA 02044.

Medicare Coordinator, B/S Rhode Island (RI BS), 444 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903-2790.

Medicare Coordinator, Trailblazer Health Enterprises, Meriden Park, 538 Preston Ave., Meriden, CT 06450.

Medicare Coordinator, Upstate Medicare Division, 11 Lewis Road, Binghamton, NY 13902.

Medicare Coordinator, Empire Medicare Services, 2651 Strang Blvd., Yorktown Heights, NY 10598.

Medicare Coordinator, Empire Medicare Services, NJ, 300 East Park Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17106.

Medicare Coordinator, Triple S, #1441 F.D., Roosvelt Ave., Guaynabo, PR 00968.

Medicare Coordinator, Group Health Inc., 4th Floor, 88 West End Avenue, New York, NY 10023.

Medicare Coordinator, Highmark, P.O. Box 89065, 1800 Center Street, Camp Hill, PA 17089-9065.

Medicare Coordinator, Trailblazers Part B, 11150 McCormick Drive, Executive Plaza 3 Suite 200, Hunt Valley, MD 21031.

Medicare Coordinator, Trailblazer Health Enterprises, Virginia, P.O. Box 26463, Richmond, VA 23261-6463. United Medicare Coordinator, Tricenturion, 1 Tower Square, Hartford, CT 06183.

Medicare Coordinator, Alabama B/S, 450 Riverchase Parkway East, Birmingham, AL 35298.

Medicare Coordinator, Cahaba GBA, 12052 Middleground Road, Suite A, Savannah, GA 31419.

Medicare Coordinator, Florida B/S, 532 Riverside Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32202-4918.

Medicare Coordinator, Administar Federal, 9901 Linnstation Road, Louisville, KY 40223.

Medicare Coordinator, Palmetto GBA, 17 Technology Circle, Columbia, SC 29203-0001.

Medicare Coordinator, CIGNA, 2 Vantage Way, Nashville, TN 37228.

Medicare Coordinator, Railroad Retirement Board, 2743 Perimeter Parkway, Building 250, Augusta, GA 30999.

Medicare Coordinator, Cahaba GBA, Jackson Miss, P.O. Box 22545, Jackson, MI 39225-2545.

Medicare Coordinator, Adminastar Federal (IN), 8115 Knue Road, Indianapolis, IN 46250-1936.

Medicare Coordinator, Wisconsin Physicians Service, P.O. Box 8190, Madison, WI 53708-8190.

Medicare Coordinator, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., P.O. Box 16788, 1 Nationwide Plaza, Columbus, OH 43216-6788.

Medicare Coordinator, Arkansas B/S, 601 Gaines Street, Little Rock, AR 72203.

Medicare Coordinator, Arkansas-New Mexico, 601 Gaines Street, Little Rock, AR 72203.

Medicare Coordinator, Palmetto GBA-DMERC, 17 Technology Circle, Columbia, SC 29203-0001.

Medicare Coordinator, Trailblazer Health Enterprises, 901 South Central Expressway, Richardson, TX 75080.

Medicare Coordinator, Nordian, 636 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50309-2551.

Medicare Coordinator, Kansas B/S, P.O. Box 239, 1133 Topeka Ave., Topeka, KS 66629-0001.

Medicare Coordinator, Kansas B/S-NE, P.O. Box 239, 1133 Topeka Ave., Topeka, KS 66629-0239.

Medicare Coordinator, Montana B/S, P.O. Box 4309, Helena, MT 59601.

Medicare Coordinator, Nordian, 4305 13th Avenue South, Fargo, ND 58103-3373.

Medicare Coordinator, Noridian Backbend (C0), 730 N. Simms #100, Golden, CO 80401-4730.

Medicare Coordinator, Noridian BCBSND (WY), 4305 13th Avenue South, Fargo, ND 58103-3373.

Medicare Coordinator, Utah B/S, P.O. Box 30270, 2455 Parleys Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0270.

Medicare Coordinator, Transamerica Occidental, P.O. Box 54905, Los Angeles, CA 90054-4905.

Medicare Coordinator, NHIC-California, 450 W. East Avenue, Chico, CA 95926.

Medicare Coordinator, Cigna, Suite 254, 3150 Lake Harbor, Boise, ID 83703.

Medicare Coordinator, Cigna, Suite 506, 2 Vantage Way, Nashville, TN 37228.

V. Payment Safeguard Contractors

Medicare Coordinator, Aspen Systems Corporation, 2277 Research Blvd., Rockville, MD 20850.

Medicare Coordinator, DynCorp Electronic Data Systems (EDS), 11710 Plaza America Drive, 5400 Legacy Drive, Reston, VA 20190-6017.

Medicare Coordinator, Lifecare Management Partners Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co., 6601 Little River Turnpike, Suite 300, Mutual of Omaha Plaza, Omaha, NE 68175.

Medicare Coordinator, Reliance Safeguard Solutions, Inc., P.O. Box 30207, 400 South Salina Street, 2890 East Cottonwood Pkwy., Syracuse, NY 13202.

Medicare Coordinator, Science Applications International, Inc., 6565 Arlington Blvd. P.O. Box 100282, Falls Church, VA.

Medicare Coordinator, California Medical Review, Inc., Integriguard Division Federal Sector Civil Group, One Sansome Street, San Francisco, CA 94104-4448.

Medicare Coordinator, Computer Sciences Corporation, Suite 600, 3120 Timanus Lane, Baltimore, MD 21244.

Medicare Coordinator, Electronic Data Systems (EDS), 11710 Plaza America Drive, 5400 Legacy Drive, Plano, TX 75204.

Medicare Coordinator, TriCenturion, L.L.C., P.O. Box 100282, Columbia, SC 29202.

End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E6-18613 Filed 11-3-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4120-03-P