42 CFR 3.104 - Secretarial actions.
(a) Actions in response to certification submissions for initial and continued listing as a PSO.
(1) In response to an initial or continued certification submission by an entity, pursuant to the requirements of § 3.102 of this subpart, the Secretary may -
(i) Accept the certification submission and list the entity as a PSO, or maintain the listing of a PSO, if the Secretary determines that the entity meets the applicable requirements of the Patient Safety Act and this subpart;
(ii) Deny acceptance of a certification submission and, in the case of a currently listed PSO, remove the entity from the list if the entity does not meet the applicable requirements of the Patient Safety Act and this subpart; or
(iii) Condition the listing of an entity or the continued listing of a PSO, following a determination made pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section or a determination after review of the pertinent history of an entity that has been delisted or refused listing and its officials and senior managers.
(2) Basis for determination. In making a determination regarding listing, the Secretary will consider the certification submission; any prior actions by the Secretary regarding the entity or PSO including delisting; any history of or current non-compliance by the entity or the PSO or its officials or senior managers with statutory or regulatory requirements or requests from the Secretary; the relationships of the entity or PSO with providers; and any findings made by the Secretary in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.
(3) Notification. The Secretary will notify in writing each entity of action taken on its certification submission for initial or continued listing. The Secretary will provide reasons when an entity's certification is conditionally accepted and the entity is conditionally listed, when an entity's certification is not accepted and the entity is not listed, or when acceptance of its certification is revoked and the entity is delisted.
(b) Actions regarding PSO compliance with the minimum contract requirement. After the date on which the Secretary, under § 3.102(d)(1) of this subpart, must receive notification regarding compliance of a PSO with the minimum contract requirement -
(1) If the PSO has met the minimum contract requirement, the Secretary will acknowledge in writing receipt of the notification and add information to the list established pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section stating that the PSO has certified that it has met the requirement.
(2) If the PSO states that it has not yet met the minimum contract requirement by the date specified in § 3.102(d)(1), or if notice is not received by that date, the Secretary will issue to the PSO a notice of a preliminary finding of deficiency as specified in § 3.108(a)(2) and establish a period for correction that extends until midnight of the last day of the PSO's applicable 24-month period of assessment. Thereafter, if the requirement has not been met, the Secretary will provide the PSO a written notice of proposed revocation and delisting in accordance with § 3.108(a)(3).
(c) Actions regarding required disclosures by PSOs of relationships with contracting providers. The Secretary will review and make findings regarding each disclosure statement submitted by a PSO, pursuant to § 3.102(d)(2), regarding its relationships with contracting provider(s), determine whether such findings warrant action regarding the listing of the PSO in accordance with paragraph (c)(2) of this section, and make the findings public.
(1) Basis of findings regarding PSO disclosure statements. In reviewing disclosure statements, submitted pursuant to § 3.102(d)(2) of this subpart, the Secretary will consider the disclosed relationship(s) between the PSO and the contracting provider and the statements and material submitted by the PSO describing the policies and procedures that the PSO has in place to determine whether the PSO can fairly and accurately perform the required patient safety activities.
(2) Determination by the Secretary. Based on the Secretary's review and findings, he may choose to take any of the following actions:
(i) For an entity seeking an initial or continued listing, the Secretary may list or continue the listing of an entity without conditions, list the entity subject to conditions, or deny the entity's certification for initial or continued listing; or
(ii) For a listed PSO, the Secretary may determine that the entity will remain listed without conditions, continue the entity's listing subject to conditions, or remove the entity from the list of PSOs.
(3) Release of disclosure statements and Secretarial findings.
(i) Subject to paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section, the Secretary will make disclosure statements available to the public along with related findings that are made available in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section.
(ii) The Secretary may withhold information that is exempt from public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, e.g., trade secrets or confidential commercial information that are subject to the restrictions of 18 U.S.C. 1905.
(d) Maintaining a list of PSOs. The Secretary will compile and maintain a publicly available list of entities whose certifications as PSOs have been accepted. The list will include contact information for each entity, a copy of all certification forms and disclosure statements submitted by each entity in accordance with paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section, the effective date of the PSO's listing, and information on whether a PSO has certified that it has met the two contract requirement. The list also will include a copy of the Secretary's findings regarding each disclosure statement submitted by an entity, information describing any related conditions that have been placed by the Secretary on the listing of an entity as a PSO, and other information that this Subpart states may be made public. AHRQ may maintain a PSO website (or a comparable future form of public notice) and may post the list on this website.
(e) Three-year period of listing.
(1) The three-year period of listing of a PSO will automatically expire at midnight of the last day of this period, unless the listing had been revoked or relinquished earlier in accordance with § 3.108 of this subpart, or if, prior to this automatic expiration, the PSO seeks a new three-year listing, in accordance with § 3.102, and the Secretary accepts the PSO's certification for a new three-year listing, in accordance with § 3.104(a).
(2) The Secretary plans to send a written notice of imminent expiration to a PSO at least 60 calendar days prior to the date on which its three-year period of listing expires if the Secretary has not yet received a certification for continued listing. The Secretary plans to indicate, on the AHRQ PSO website, the PSOs from whom certifications for continued listing have not been timely received.
(f) Effective dates of Secretarial actions. Unless otherwise stated, the effective date of each action by the Secretary pursuant to this subpart will be specified in the written notice of such action that is sent to the entity. When the Secretary sends a notice that addresses acceptance or revocation of an entity's certifications or voluntary relinquishment by an entity of its status as a PSO, the notice will specify the effective date and time of listing or delisting.