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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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AGENCY:

Centers 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) 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 necessity 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.

1. Type of Information Collection Request: Extension of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Medicare Advantage Applications—Part C and regulations under 42 CFR part 422 subpart K; Use: The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 established a new “Part C” in the Medicare statute Social Security Act (the Act), which provided for a Medicare+Choice (M+C) program. Under section 1851 of the Act, every individual entitled to Medicare Part A and enrolled under Part B, except for most individuals with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), could elect to receive benefits either through the Original Medicare Program or an M+C plan.

The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) was enacted on December 8, 2003. The MMA established the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program (Part D) and made revisions to the provisions of Medicare Part C, governing what is now called the Medicare Advantage (MA) program (formerly Medicare+Choice).

Coverage for the prescription drug benefit is provided through contracted prescription drug plans or through Medicare Advantage (MA) plans that offer integrated prescription drug and health care coverage (MA-PD plans). Cost plans that are required under section 1876 of the Social Security Act, and Employer Group Waiver Plans (EGWP) may also provide a Part D benefit. Organizations wishing to provide services under the MA and MA-PD plans must complete an application, negotiate rates and receive final approval from CMS. Certain existing MA plans may also expand their contracted area by completing the Service Area Expansion (SAE) application.

Form Number: CMS-10237 and 10214 (OMB# 0938-0935); Frequency: Yearly; Affected Public: Private Sector; Number of Respondents: 267; Total Annual Responses: 267; Total Annual Hours: 6,490. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Betty Burrier at 410-786-4649. For all other issues call 410-786-1326.)

2. Type of Information Collection Request: Revision of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Coordination of Benefits between Part D Plans and Other Prescription Coverage Providers; Use: Section 1860D-23 and 1860D-24 of the Social Security Act requires the Secretary to establish requirements for prescription drug plans to ensure the effective coordination between Part D plans, State pharmaceutical Assistance programs and other payers. This collection request will assist CMS, Part D plans and other payers with coordination of prescription drug benefits at the point-of-sale and tracking of the beneficiary's True out-of-pocket (TrOOP) expenditures using the TrOOP facilitator. This information will be used by Part D plans, other health insurers or payers, pharmacies and CMS to coordinate prescription drug benefits provided to the Medicare beneficiary. Beginning in CY 2009, CMS, via the TrOOP facilitation contractor, will automate the transfer of beneficiary coverage information when a beneficiary changes plans. Form Number: CMS-10171 (OMB# 0938-0978); Frequency: Hourly, yearly and occasionally; Affected Public: Business or other for-profits; Number of Respondents: 56,988; Total Annual Responses: 1,139,760; Total Annual Hours: 1,125,883. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Christine Hinds at 410-786-4578. For all other issues call 410-786-1326.)

To obtain copies of the supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed paperwork collections referenced above, access CMS' Web site at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/​PaperworkReductionActof1995, or e-mail your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to Paperwork@cms.hhs.gov, or call the Reports Clearance Office on (410) 786-1326.

In commenting on the proposed information collections please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be submitted in one of the following ways by April 28, 2009:

1. Electronically. You may submit your comments electronically to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for “Comment or Submission” or “More Search Options” to find the information collection document(s) accepting comments.

2. By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address: CMS, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Division of Regulations Development, Attention: Document Identifier/OMB Control Number, Room C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

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Dated: February 20, 2009.

Michelle Shortt,

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

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[FR Doc. E9-4128 Filed 2-26-09; 8:45 am]

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