(a) Functions of Secretary; performance directly or by contract
Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter and in the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 [45 U.S.C. 231 et seq.], the insurance programs established by this subchapter shall be administered by the Secretary. The Secretary may perform any of his functions under this subchapter directly, or by contract providing for payment in advance or by way of reimbursement, and in such installments, as the Secretary may deem necessary.
(b) Contracts to secure special data, actuarial information, etc.
The Secretary may contract with any person, agency, or institution to secure on a reimbursable basis such special data, actuarial information, and other information as may be necessary in the carrying out of his functions under this subchapter.
(c) Oaths and affirmations
In the course of any hearing, investigation, or other proceeding that he is authorized to conduct under this subchapter, the Secretary may administer oaths and affirmations.
(d) Inclusion of Medicare provider and supplier payments in Federal Payment Levy Program
(1) In general
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services shall take all necessary steps to participate in the Federal Payment Levy Program under section 6331(h) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as soon as possible and shall ensure that—
(A)at least 50 percent of all payments under parts A and B are processed through such program beginning within 1 year after July 15, 2008; 
(B)at least 75 percent of all payments under parts A and B are processed through such program beginning within 2 years after July 15, 2008; and
(C)all payments under parts A and B are processed through such program beginning not later than September 30, 2011.
The Financial Management Service and the Internal Revenue Service shall provide assistance to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to ensure that all payments described in paragraph (1) are included in the Federal Payment Levy Program by the deadlines specified in that subsection.
(e) Availability of Medicare data
(1) In general
Subject to paragraph (4), the Secretary shall make available to qualified entities (as defined in paragraph (2)) data described in paragraph (3) for the evaluation of the performance of providers of services and suppliers.
(2) Qualified entities
For purposes of this subsection, the term “qualified entity” means a public or private entity that—
(A)is qualified (as determined by the Secretary) to use claims data to evaluate the performance of providers of services and suppliers on measures of quality, efficiency, effectiveness, and resource use; and
(B)agrees to meet the requirements described in paragraph (4) and meets such other requirements as the Secretary may specify, such as ensuring security of data.
(3) Data described
The data described in this paragraph are standardized extracts (as determined by the Secretary) of claims data under parts A, B, and D for items and services furnished under such parts for one or more specified geographic areas and time periods requested by a qualified entity. The Secretary shall take such actions as the Secretary deems necessary to protect the identity of individuals entitled to or enrolled for benefits under such parts.
Data described in paragraph (3) shall be made available to a qualified entity under this subsection at a fee equal to the cost of making such data available. Any fee collected pursuant to the preceding sentence shall be deposited into the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund under section
1395t of this title.
(B) Specification of uses and methodologies
A qualified entity requesting data under this subsection shall—
(i)submit to the Secretary a description of the methodologies that such qualified entity will use to evaluate the performance of providers of services and suppliers using such data;
(I)except as provided in subclause (II), if available, use standard measures, such as measures endorsed by the entity with a contract under section
1395aaa(a) of this title and measures developed pursuant to section
299b–31 of this title; or
(II)use alternative measures if the Secretary, in consultation with appropriate stakeholders, determines that use of such alternative measures would be more valid, reliable, responsive to consumer preferences, cost-effective, or relevant to dimensions of quality and resource use not addressed by such standard measures;
(iii)include data made available under this subsection with claims data from sources other than claims data under this subchapter in the evaluation of performance of providers of services and suppliers;
(iv)only include information on the evaluation of performance of providers and suppliers in reports described in subparagraph (C);
(v)make available to providers of services and suppliers, upon their request, data made available under this subsection; and
(vi)prior to their release, submit to the Secretary the format of reports under subparagraph (C).
Any report by a qualified entity evaluating the performance of providers of services and suppliers using data made available under this subsection shall—
(i)include an understandable description of the measures, which shall include quality measures and the rationale for use of other measures described in subparagraph (B)(ii)(II), risk adjustment methods, physician attribution methods, other applicable methods, data specifications and limitations, and the sponsors, so that consumers, providers of services and suppliers, health plans, researchers, and other stakeholders can assess such reports;
(ii)be made available confidentially, to any provider of services or supplier to be identified in such report, prior to the public release of such report, and provide an opportunity to appeal and correct errors;
(iii)only include information on a provider of services or supplier in an aggregate form as determined appropriate by the Secretary; and
(iv)except as described in clause (ii), be made available to the public.
(D) Approval and limitation of uses
The Secretary shall not make data described in paragraph (3) available to a qualified entity unless the qualified entity agrees to release the information on the evaluation of performance of providers of services and suppliers. Such entity shall only use such data, and information derived from such evaluation, for the reports under subparagraph (C). Data released to a qualified entity under this subsection shall not be subject to discovery or admission as evidence in judicial or administrative proceedings without consent of the applicable provider of services or supplier.
The Railroad Retirement Act of 1974, referred to in subsec. (a), is act Aug. 29, 1935, ch. 812, as amended generally by Pub. L. 93–445, title I, § 101,Oct. 16, 1974, 88 Stat. 1305, which is classified generally to subchapter IV (§ 231 et seq.) of chapter
9 of Title
45, Railroads. For further details and complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Codification note set out preceding section 231 ofTitle
231t of Title 45, and Tables.
The Internal Revenue Code of 1986, referred to in subsec. (d)(1), is classified generally to Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.
July 15, 2008, referred to in subsec. (d)(1)(A) and (B), was in the original “the date of the enactment of this section” and “such date”, which were translated as meaning the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–275, which enacted subsec. (d), to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
Amendment by Pub. L. 89–97applicable to calendar year 1966 or to any subsequent calendar year but only if by October 1 immediately preceding such calendar year the Railroad Retirement Tax Act provides for a maximum amount of monthly compensation taxable under such Act during all months of such calendar year equal to one-twelfth of maximum wages which Federal Insurance Contributions Act provides may be counted for such calendar year, see Pub. L. 89–97, title I, § 111(e),July 30, 1965, 79 Stat. 343.
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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