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CMS Issues SMART Act Regulations Regarding Web Portal

On September 20, 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published an “interim final rule with comment period” in the Federal Register to comply to Section 201 of the Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers Act of 2012 (the SMART Act).

This interim rule adds new regulations at 42 CFR 411.39, which states that by January 1, 2016, the CMS will implement a fully functional web portal that will enable a beneficiary (or their attorney, other representative, or applicable plan) to obtain dates of services, provider names, diagnostic codes, dates of service and final conditional payment amounts.  Also, it will add additional functionality to the web portal, permitting users to notify CMS that the specified case is approaching settlement, obtain time and date-stamped final conditional payment summary forms, and insure that relatedness disputes and other discrepancies are addressed within 11 business days of receipt of dispute documentation.

Interestingly, CMS waived its normal “notice and comment” rulemaking approach, stating that it was not in the public’s best interest and would delay public access to the web portal.  This process would have provided “proposed” regulations, followed by a comment period, and then final regulations.  Instead, CMS chose to use the  “interim final rule with comment period” approach, which allows 90 days for public comments, but implements final regulations on November 19, 2013, regardless of comment.

To view the interim final rule with comment period as it appeared in the Federal Register, click here.

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