Skip to Content

Notice

Privacy Act of 1974; Report of a Modified or Altered System

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Notice of a 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 an SOR titled “Home Health Agency (HHA) Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS),” System No. 09-70-9002, last modified at 66 Federal Register 66903 (December 27, 2001). We propose to assign a new CMS identification number to this system to simplify the obsolete and confusing numbering system originally designed to identify the Bureau, Office, or Center that maintained information in the Health Care Financing Administration systems of records. The new assigned identifying number for this system should read: System No. 09-70-0522.

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 existing routine use number 4 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 HHA quality of care. The modified routine use will remain as routine use number 4.

CMS proposes to broaden the scope of the disclosure requirement for routine use number 5, authorizing disclosure to national accrediting organizations that have been approved by CMS for deeming authority for Medicare requirements for home health services. Information will be released to these organizations for only those facilities that they accredit and that participate in the Medicare program and if they meet the following requirements: (1) Provide identifying information for HHAs that have an accreditation status with the requesting deemed organization, (2) submission of a finder file identifying beneficiaries/patients receiving HHA services, (3) safeguard the confidentiality of the data and prevent unauthorized access, and (4) upon completion of a signed data exchange agreement or a CMS data use agreement.

We will delete routine use number 7 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 published routine uses number 8 and 9, authorizing disclosures to combat fraud and abuse in the Medicare and Medicaid programs to include combating “waste” which refers increasingly more to specific beneficiary or recipient practices that result in unnecessary cost to 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) (Pub. L. 108-173) provisions and to update language in the administrative sections to correspond with language used in other CMS SORs.

The primary purposes of the SOR are to collect and maintain information to: (1) Study and help ensure the quality of care provided by home health agencies (HHA); (2) aid in administration of the survey and certification of Medicare/Medicaid HHAs; (3) enable regulators to provide HHAs with data for their internal quality improvement activities; (4) support agencies of the state government to determine, evaluate and assess overall effectiveness and quality of HHA services provided in the state; (5) provide for the validation, and refinements of the Medicare Prospective Payment System; (6) aid in the administration of Federal and state HHA programs within the state; and (7) monitor the continuity of care for patients who reside temporarily outside of the state. Information maintained in this system will also be disclosed to: (1) Support regulatory, reimbursement, and policy functions performed within the Agency or by a contractor, consultant, or grantee; (2) assist another Federal and/or state agency, agency of a state government, an agency established by state law, or its fiscal agent, for evaluating and monitoring the quality of home health care and contribute to the accuracy of health insurance operations; (3) support research, evaluation, or epidemiological projects related to the prevention of disease or disability, or the restoration or maintenance of health, and for payment related projects; (4) support the functions of Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO); (5) support the functions of national accrediting organizations; (6) support litigation involving the Agency; (7) combat fraud, waste, and abuse in certain 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 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 November 6, 2007. 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 Start Printed Page 63907hours, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., eastern time zone.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Patricia Sevast, Nurse Consultant, Division of Continuing Care Providers, Survey and Certification Group, Center for Medicaid and State Operations, CMS, 7500 Security Boulevard, S2-12-25, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850. The telephone number is (410) 786-8135, or via e-mail at patricia.sevast@cms.hhs.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Description of the Modified or Altered System of Records

A. Statutory and Regulatory Basis for System

Authority for maintenance of this system is given under Sections 1102(a), 1154, 1861(m), 1861(o), 1861(z), 1863, 1864, 1865, 1866, 1871, 1891, and 1902 of the Social Security Act. These provisions of the Act authorize the Administrator of CMS to require HHAs participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs to complete a standard, valid, patient assessment data set; i.e., the OASIS, as part of their comprehensive assessments and updates when evaluating adult, non-maternity patients as required by section 484.55 of the Conditions of Participation. Authority is also given under section 951 of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (Pub. L. 108-173).

B. Collection and Maintenance of Data in the System

The system collects and maintains information on all patients, except those in a category exempted by administrative policies and procedures, who receive services from an HHA certified for Medicare and Medicaid payments. The OASIS data set includes identifiers. It also includes information on: (1) Patient History, (2) Living Arrangements, (3) Supportive Assistance, (4) Sensory Status, (5) Integumentary Status, (6) Respiratory Status, (7) Elimination Status, (8) Neuro/Emotional/Behavioral Status, (9) Activities of Daily Living/Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (ADL/IADL), (10) Medications, (11) Equipment Management, (12) Emergent Care, and (13) Discharge. Identifiers are patient name, social security number, Medicare number and Medicaid number. A masked identifier is one in which an encrypted value is permanently substituted for an identifier to prevent recipients of the information from identifying the individual.

The OASIS information will be submitted by the HHA to the government for all patients, except pre-partum and postpartum patients, patients under 18 years of age, and patients receiving other than personal care or health care services; i.e., housekeeping services and chore services. Identifiers will be included for all patients receiving services paid for by Medicare traditional fee-for-service, Medicaid traditional fee-for-service, Medicare HMO/managed care or Medicaid HMO/managed care. For patients with only a non-Medicare or non-Medicaid payment source, the HHA will submit OASIS information with masked identifiers and will retain the identifier and masked identifier at the HHA. In other words, the patient identifier for non-Medicare and non-Medicaid patients will only be known and retained by the HHA and not by the government.

II. Agency Policies, Procedures, and Restrictions on Routine Uses

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 OASIS 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 OASIS. CMS has the following policies and procedures concerning disclosures of information that will be maintained in the system. Disclosure of information from this 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 evaluate and monitor the quality of home health care and contribute to the accuracy of health insurance operations.

2. Determines:

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

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

c. That 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; and

b. Remove or destroy at the earliest time all patient-identifiable information.

4. Determines that the data are valid and reliable.

III. Proposed 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 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 to:

a. Contribute to the accuracy of CMS's proper payment of Medicare benefits, Start Printed Page 63908

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. Evaluate and monitor the quality of home health care and contribute to the accuracy of health insurance operations.

Other Federal or state agencies in their administration of a Federal health program may require OASIS information in order to support evaluations and monitoring of reimbursement for services provided.

3. To assist an individual or organization for research, evaluation or epidemiological projects related to the prevention of disease or disability, or the restoration or maintenance of health, and for payment-related projects.

The collected data will provide the research, evaluation and epidemiological projects a broader, longitudinal, national perspective of the data. CMS anticipates that many researchers will have legitimate requests to use these data in projects that could ultimately improve the care provided to Medicare patients and the policy that governs the care. CMS understands the concerns about the privacy and confidentiality of the release of data for a research use. Disclosure of data for research and evaluation purposes may involve aggregate data rather than individual-specific data.

4. To support Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO) in order to assist the QIO to perform Title XI and Title XVIII functions relating to assessing and improving HHA quality of care.

QIOs will work with HHAs to implement quality improvement programs, provide consultation to CMS, its contractors, and to state agencies. The QIOs will provide a supportive role to HHAs in their endeavors to comply with Medicare Conditions of Participation; will assist the state agencies in related monitoring and enforcement efforts; assist CMS and help regional home health intermediaries in home health program integrity assessment; and prepare summary information about the nation's home health care for release to beneficiaries.

5. To support national accrediting organizations with approval for deeming authority for Medicare requirements for home health services (i.e., the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, Accreditation Commission for Health Care, Inc., and the Community Health Accreditation Program). Information will be released to these organizations upon specific request, and only for those facilities that they accredit and that participate in the Medicare program and if they meet the following requirements:

a. Provide identifying information for HHAs that have an accreditation status with the requesting deemed organization,

b. submit a finder file identifying beneficiaries/patients receiving HHA services,

c. complete a signed data exchange agreement or a CMS data use agreement, and

d. safeguard the confidentiality of the data and prevent unauthorized access.

CMS anticipates providing these national accrediting organizations with OASIS information to enable them to target potential or identified problems during the organization's accreditation review process of that facility.

6. 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.

Whenever CMS is involved in litigation, and occasionally when another party is involved in litigation and CMS' 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.

7. To assist a CMS contractor (including, but not necessarily limited to fiscal intermediaries 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 program.

We contemplate disclosing information under this routine use only in situations in which CMS may enter into a contractual relationship 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 and makes grants 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.

8. 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 combat fraud, waste, or abuse in such programs.

Other agencies may require OASIS information for the purpose of combating fraud, waste, and abuse in such Federally-funded 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 Fed. Reg. 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). Start Printed Page 63909

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 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.

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.

Start Signature

Dated: November 7, 2007.

Charlene Frizzera,

Chief Operating Officer, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

End Signature

SYSTEM NO. 09-70-0522

System Name:

“Home Health Agency (HHA) Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS),” HHS/CMS/CMSO.

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 South Building, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

Categories of Individuals Covered by the System:

The system of records (SOR) will contain clinical assessment information (OASIS) for all patients receiving the services of a Medicare and/or Medicaid approved HHA, except pre-partum and post-partum patients, patients under 18 years of age, and patients receiving other than personal care or health care services; i.e., housekeeping services and chore services. Identifiable information will be maintained in the SOR only for those individuals whose payments come from Medicare or Medicaid.

Categories of Records in the System:

This SOR will contain individual-level demographic and identifying data, as well as clinical status data for patients with the payment sources of Medicare traditional fee for service, Medicaid traditional fee for service, Medicare HMO/managed care or Medicaid HMO/managed care.

Authority for Maintenance of the System:

Authority for maintenance of this system is given under Sections 1102(a), 1154, 1861(m), 1861(o), 1861(z), 1863, 1864, 1865, 1866, 1871, 1891, and 1902 of the Social Security Act. These provisions of the Act authorize the Administrator of CMS to require HHAs participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs to complete a standard, valid, patient assessment data set; i.e., the OASIS, as part of their comprehensive assessments and updates when evaluating adult, non-maternity patients as required by section 484.55 of the Conditions of Participation. Authority is also given under section 951 of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (Pub. L. 108-173).

Purpose(s) of the System:

The primary purposes of the SOR are to collect and maintain information to: (1) Study and help ensure the quality of care provided by home health agencies (HHA); (2) aid in administration of the survey and certification of Medicare/Medicaid HHAs; (3) enable regulators to provide HHAs with data for their internal quality improvement activities; (4) support agencies of the state government to determine, evaluate and assess overall effectiveness and quality of HHA services provided in the state; (5) provide for the validation, and refinements of the Medicare Prospective Payment System; (6) aid in the administration of Federal and state HHA programs within the state; and (7) monitor the continuity of care for patients who reside temporarily outside of the state. Information maintained in this system will also be disclosed to: (1) Support regulatory, reimbursement, and policy functions performed within the Agency or by a contractor, consultant, or grantee; (2) assist another Federal and/or state agency, agency of a state government, an agency established by state law, or its fiscal agent, for evaluating and monitoring the quality of home health care and contribute to the accuracy of health insurance operations; (3) support research, evaluation, or epidemiological projects related to the prevention of disease or disability, or the restoration or maintenance of health, and for payment related projects; (4) support the functions of Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO); (5) support the functions of national accrediting organizations; (6) support litigation involving the Agency; (7) combat fraud, waste, and abuse in certain health care programs.

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 Start Printed Page 63910following 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.

2. To assist another Federal or state agency, agency of a state government, an agency established by state law, or its fiscal agent 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. evaluate and monitor the quality of home health care and contribute to the accuracy of health insurance operations.

3. To assist an individual or organization for research, evaluation or epidemiological projects related to the prevention of disease or disability, or the restoration or maintenance of health, and for payment related projects.

4. To support Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO) in order to assist the QIO to perform Title XI and Title XVIII functions relating to assessing and improving HHA quality of care.

5. To support national accrediting organizations with approval for deeming authority for Medicare requirements for home health services (i.e., the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, Accreditation Commission for Health Care, Inc., and the Community Health Accreditation Program). Information will be released to these organizations upon specific request, and only for those facilities that they accredit and that participate in the Medicare program and if they meet the following requirements:

a. Provide identifying information for HHAs that have an accreditation status with the requesting deemed organization,

b. Submit a finder file identifying beneficiaries/patients receiving HHA services,

c. Complete a signed data exchange agreement or a CMS data use agreement, and

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

6. 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.

7. To assist a CMS contractor (including, but not necessarily limited to fiscal intermediaries 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 program.

8. 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 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 Fed. Reg. 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).

Policies and Practices for Storing, Retrieving, Accessing, Retaining, and Disposing of Records in the System:

Storage:

All records are stored on paper and magnetic disk.

Retrievability:

The Medicare and Medicaid records are retrieved by health insurance claim number, Social Security number (SSN) or by state assigned Medicaid 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 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 identifiable OASIS assessment data for a total period not to exceed fifteen (15) years.

System Manager and Address:

Director, Division of Continuing Care Providers, Survey and Certification Start Printed Page 63911Group, Center for Medicaid and State Operations, CMS, 7500 Security Boulevard, S2-12-25, 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, health insurance claim number, and for verification purposes, the subject individual's name (woman's maiden name, if applicable), SSN (furnishing the SSN is voluntary, but it may make searching for a record easier and prevent delay), address, date of birth, and sex.

Record Access procedure:

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

Contesting Records procedures:

The subject individual should contact the system manager named above, and reasonably identify the records 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 contained in this system of records are obtained from The Outcome and Assessment Information Set.

Systems Exempted from Certain Provisions of the Act:

None.

End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E7-22083 Filed 11-9-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4120-03-P