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Notice

Privacy Act of 1974; Report of a Modified System of Records

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Notice of a Modified System of Records (SOR).

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act of 1974, we are proposing to modify an existing system titled, “Medicare Learning Network (MLN) Registration and Product Ordering System (REPOS),” No. 09-70-0542, most recently modified at 68 FR 35897 (June 17, 2003). 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 delete routine use number 2 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.

Finally, we will delete the section titled “Additional Circumstances Affecting Routine Use Disclosures,” that addresses “Protected Health Information (PHI)” and “small cell size.” The requirement for compliance with HHS regulation “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information” does not apply because this system does not collect or maintain PHI. In addition, our policy to prohibit release if there is a possibility that an individual can be identified through “small cell size” is not applicable to the data maintained in this system.

We are modifying the language in the 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) (Pub. L. 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 system of records is to collect and maintain information on health care providers, and other individuals ordering provider educational materials who voluntarily register for computer/web-based training courses, satellite broadcasts and train-the-trainer sessions. Information in this system will also be used to: (1) support regulatory and policy functions performed within the Agency or by a contractor, consultant, or grantee; and (2) to support litigation involving the Agency related to this system. 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.

DATES:

Effective Date: CMS filed a modified SOR 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 February 7, 2007. To ensure that all parties have adequate time in which to comment, the modified system will become effective 30 days from the publication of the notice, or 40 days from the date it was submitted to OMB and the Congress, whichever is later. We may defer implementation of this system or one or more of the routine use statements listed below if we receive comments that persuade us to defer implementation.

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:

Mary Case, Technical Advisor, Division Start Printed Page 10538of Provider Information Planning and Development (DPIPD), Providers Communications Group, Center for Medicare Management, CMS, Mail Stop C4-13-07, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850. She can be reached by telephone at 410-786-0021 or e-mail mary.case@cms.hhs.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Description of the Modified System of Records

A. Statutory and Regulatory Basis for SOR

Authority for this collection is given under the provisions of Title IV of the Benefits Improvement Protection Act of 2000 (Public Law (Pub. L.) 106-554, Appendix F), Title IV of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (Pub. L. 105-33), and §§ 1816(a) and 1842(a)(3) of the Social Security Act.

B. Collection and Maintenance of Data in the System

This system will collect and maintain individually identifiable information and other data collected on health care providers, and other individuals ordering provider educational materials who voluntarily register for computer/Web-based training courses, satellite broadcasts and train-the-trainer sessions. Information collected will include, but is not limited to, the health care provider's first and last name, mailing address, provider type, facility type, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address. If CMS becomes an accredited provider of continuing education credits, this system may also contain social security number, provider identification number (UPIN/NPI), or tax identification number.

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

A. 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 REPOS information that can be associated with an individual as provided for under “Section III. Proposed Routine Use Disclosures of Data in the System.” Both identifiable and non-identifiable data may be disclosed under a routine use. We will only collect the minimum personal data necessary to achieve the purpose of REPOS.

CMS has the following policies and procedures concerning disclosures of information that will be maintained in the system. Disclosure of information from the system will be approved only to the extent necessary to accomplish the purpose of the disclosure and only after CMS:

1. Determines that the use or disclosure is consistent with the reason that the data is being collected; e.g., to collect and maintain information on health care providers, and other individuals ordering provider educational materials who voluntarily register for computer/Web-based training courses, satellite broadcasts and train-the-trainer sessions.

2. Determines that:

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 patient-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. Modified Routine Use Disclosures of Data in the System

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 Agency contractors, consultants, or CMS grantees who have been contracted by the Agency to assist in 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. 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 functions relating to purposes for this system.

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

2. To 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.

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. A determination would be made in each instance that, under the circumstances involved, the purposes served by the use of the information in the particular litigation is compatible with a purpose for which CMS collects the information.

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 Start Printed Page 10539protect 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; 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 establish 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 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 the disclosure of information relating to individuals.

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Dated: February 7, 2007.

Charlene Frizzera,

Acting Chief Operating Officer, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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SYSTEM NO. 09-70-0542

SYSTEM NAME:

“Medicare Learning Network (MLN) Registration and Product Ordering System (REPOS),” HHS/CMS/CMM.

SECURITY CLASSIFICATION:

Level Three Privacy Act Sensitive Data.

SYSTEM LOCATION:

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Data Center, 7500 Security Boulevard, North Building, First Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850 and at various contractor locations.

CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

This system will collect and maintain individually identifiable information and other data collected on health care providers, and other individuals ordering provider educational materials who voluntarily register for computer/Web-based training courses, satellite broadcasts and train-the-trainer sessions.

CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

Information collected will include, but is not limited to, the health care provider's first and last name, mailing address, provider type, facility type, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address. If CMS becomes an accredited provider of continuing education credits, this system may also contain social security number, provider identification number (UPIN/NPI), or tax identification number.

AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

Authority for this collection is given under the provisions of Title IV of the Benefits Improvement Protection Act of 2000 (Public Law (Pub. L.) 106-554, Appendix F), Title IV of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (Pub. L. 105-33), and §§ 1816(a) and 1842(a)(3) of the Social Security Act.

PURPOSE(S) OF THE SYSTEM:

The primary purpose of the system of records is to collect and maintain information on health care providers, and other individuals ordering provider educational materials who voluntarily register for computer/web-based training courses, satellite broadcasts and train-the-trainer sessions. Information in this system will also be used to: (1) support regulatory and policy functions performed within the Agency or by a contractor, consultant, or grantee; and (2) to support litigation involving the Agency related to this system.

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 Agency contractors, or consultants, or grantees who have been contracted by the Agency to assist in 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 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.

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

STORAGE:

All records are stored on electronic media.

RETRIEVABILITY:

The collected data are retrieved by an individual identifier; e.g., provider name or unique provider 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 Start Printed Page 10540to 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 may apply 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:

CMS will retain information for a total period not to exceed 8 years.

SYSTEM MANAGER AND ADDRESS:

Director, Division of Provider Information Planning and Development, Providers Communications Group, Center for Medicare Management, CMS, Mail Stop C4-10-07, 7500 Security Boulevard, 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, employee identification number, tax identification number, national provider number, and for verification purposes, the subject individual's name (woman's maiden name, if applicable), HICN, and/or 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.)

RECORDS SOURCE CATEGORIES:

The data collected and maintained in this is voluntary submitted and/or is self reported by the health care provider.

SYSTEMS EXEMPTED FROM CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE ACT:

None.

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[FR Doc. E7-4177 Filed 3-7-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4120-03-P