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Proposed Extension of the Approval of Information Collection Requirements

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The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) [44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)]. This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Employment Standards Administration is soliciting comments concerning its proposal to extend the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval of the Information

Collection: Pharmacy Billing Requirements. A copy of the proposed information collection request can be obtained by contacting the office listed below in the ADDRESSES section of this Notice.


Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the addresses section below on or before September 28, 2009.


Mr. Steven D. Lawrence, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., Room S-3201, Washington, DC 20210, telephone (202) 693-0292, fax (202) 693-1451, E-mail Please use only one method of transmission for comments (mail, fax, or E-mail).

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I. Background

The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) is the agency responsible for administration of the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA), 5 U.S.C. 8101 et seq., the Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA), 30 U.S.C. 901 et seq., and the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA), 42 U.S.C. 7384 et seq. All three of these statutes require that OWCP pay for covered medical treatment provided to beneficiaries; this medical treatment can include medicinal drugs dispensed by pharmacies. In order to determine whether amounts billed for drugs are appropriate, OWCP must receive 19 data elements, including the name of the patient/beneficiary, the National Drug Code (NDC) number of the drugs prescribed, the quantity provided, the prescription number and the date the prescription was filled. The regulations implementing these statutes require the collection of information needed to enable OWCP to determine if bills for drugs submitted directly by pharmacies, or as reimbursement requests submitted by claimants, should be paid. There is no standardized paper form for submission of the billing information collected in this Information Collection Request (ICR). Over the past several years, the majority of pharmacy bills submitted to OWCP have been submitted electronically using one of the industry-wide standard formats for the electronic transmission of billing data through nationwide data clearinghouses devised by the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP). However, since some pharmacy bills are still submitted using a paper-based bill format, OWCP will continue to accept any of the many paper-based bill formats still used by some providers so long as they contain the data elements needed for processing the bill. None of the paper-based or electronic billing formats have been designed by or provided by OWCP; they are billing formats commonly accepted by other Federal programs and in the private health insurance industry for drugs. Nonetheless, the three programs (FECA, BLBA and EEOICPA) provide instructions for the submission of necessary pharmacy bill data elements in provider manuals distributed or made available to all pharmacies enrolled in the programs. This information collection is currently approved for use through March 31, 2010.

II. Review Focus

The Department of Labor is particularly interested in comments that:

* Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

* Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

* Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

* Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

III. Current Actions

The Department of Labor seeks approval for the extension of this information collection in order to carry out its responsibility to provide payment for pharmaceuticals covered under the Acts.

Type of Review: Extension.

Agency: Employment Standards Administration.

Title: Pharmacy Billing Requirements.

OMB Number: 1215-0194.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

Total Respondents: 28,150.

Total Annual Responses: 1,463,800.Start Printed Page 37734

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 121,494.

Estimated Time Per Response: 5 minutes.

Frequency: On Occasion.

Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.

Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): $0.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

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Dated: July 23, 2009.

Steven D. Lawrence,

Acting Chief, Branch of Management Review and Internal Control, Division of Financial Management, Office of Management, Administration and Planning, Employment Standards Administration.

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[FR Doc. E9-17993 Filed 7-28-09; 8:45 am]