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

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Center for Medicare & 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 & 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 Start Printed Page 71177necessity 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 implementation of Public Law No: 109-171 Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005. CMS does not have sufficient time to complete the normal PRA clearance process.

We request this Paperwork Reduction Act clearance under an emergency approval process to allow States to implement the following DRA provisions: 6036, 6041, 6042, 6043, 6044, and 6083. This emergency request is to ensure that statutory effective dates of the provisions are not missed.

1. Type of Information Collection Request: New Collection; Title of Information Collection: Alternative Benefits State Plan Amendment Health Opportunity Accounts (HOA) Demonstration Program; Use: The DRA provides States with numerous flexibilities in operating their State Medicaid programs. For example, Section 6082 of the DRA allows up to 10 States to operate Medicaid demonstrations to test alternative systems for delivering their Medicaid benefits. Under these demonstrations, States would have the flexibility to deliver their Medicaid benefits to volunteer beneficiaries through a program that is comprised of an HOA and a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). Under the DRA, States can submit a State Plan Pre-print to CMS to effectuate this change to their Medicaid programs. CMS will provide a State Medicaid Director letter providing guidance on this provision and the implementation of the DRA and the associated State Plan Amendment template for use by States to modify their Medicaid State Plans if they choose to implement this flexibility; Form Number: CMS-10216 (OMB#: 0938-New); Frequency: Reporting: One-time; Affected Public: State, Local or Tribal Government; Number of Respondents: 56; Total Annual Responses: 10; Total Annual Hours: 10.

CMS is requesting OMB review and approval of these collections by December 22, 2006, with a 180-day approval period. Written comments and recommendations will be considered from the public if received by the individuals designated below by December 18, 2006.

To obtain copies of the supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed paperwork collections referenced above, access CMS' Web site address at​PaperworkReductionActof1995/​ or E-mail your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to, 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 December 18, 2006:

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-10216) and,

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

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Dated: November 30, 2006.

Michelle Shortt,

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

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[FR Doc. E6-20665 Filed 12-7-06; 8:45 am]