42 CFR § 3.108 - Correction of deficiencies, revocation, and voluntary relinquishment.
(a) Process for correction of a deficiency and revocation -
(iii) Based on a PSO's disclosures made pursuant to § 3.102(d)(2) , that the entity cannot fairly and accurately perform the patient safety activities of a PSO with a public finding to that effect; or
(2) Notice of preliminary finding of deficiency and establishment of an opportunity for correction of a deficiency.
(i) Except as provided by paragraph (e) of this section, if the Secretary determines that a PSO is not in compliance with its obligations under the Patient Safety Act or this subpart, the Secretary must send a PSO written notice of the preliminary finding of deficiency. The notice must state the actions or inactions that encompass the deficiency finding, outline the evidence that the deficiency exists, specify the possible and/or required corrective actions that must be taken, and establish a date by which the deficiency must be corrected. The Secretary may specify in the notice the form of documentation required to demonstrate that the deficiency has been corrected.
(ii) The notice of a preliminary finding of deficiency is presumed received five days after it is sent, absent evidence of the actual receipt date. If a PSO does not submit evidence to the Secretary within 14 calendar days of actual or constructive receipt of such notice, whichever is longer, which demonstrates that the preliminary finding is factually incorrect, the preliminary finding will be the basis for a finding of deficiency.
(3) Determination of correction of a deficiency.
(i) Unless the Secretary specifies another date, the Secretary must receive documentation to demonstrate that the PSO has corrected any deficiency cited in the preliminary finding of deficiency no later than five calendar days following the last day of the correction period that is specified by the Secretary in such notice.
(ii) In making a determination regarding the correction of any deficiency, the Secretary will consider the documentation submitted by the PSO, any assessments under § 3.110, recommendations of program staff, and any other information available regarding the PSO that the Secretary deems appropriate and relevant to the PSO's implementation of the terms of its certification.
(iii) After completing his review, the Secretary may make one of the following determinations:
(B) The PSO has acted in good faith to correct the deficiency, but the Secretary finds an additional period of time is necessary to achieve full compliance and/or the required corrective action specified in the notice of a preliminary finding of deficiency needs to be modified in light of the experience of the PSO in attempting to implement the corrective action, in which case the Secretary will extend the period for correction and/or modify the specific corrective action required; or
(C) The PSO has not completed the corrective action because it has not acted with reasonable diligence or speed to ensure that the corrective action was completed within the allotted time, in which case the Secretary will issue to the PSO a notice of proposed revocation and delisting.
(iv) When the Secretary issues a written notice of proposed revocation and delisting, the notice will specify the deficiencies that have not been timely corrected and will detail the manner in which the PSO may exercise its opportunity to be heard in writing to respond to the deficiencies specified in the notice.
(4) Opportunity to be heard in writing following a notice of proposed revocation and delisting. The Secretary will afford a PSO an opportunity to be heard in writing, as specified in paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section, to provide a substantive response to the deficiency finding(s) set forth in the notice of proposed revocation and delisting.
(i) The notice of proposed revocation and delisting is presumed received five days after it is sent, absent evidence of actual receipt. The Secretary will provide a PSO with a period of time, beginning with the date of receipt of the notice of proposed revocation and delisting of which there is evidence, or the presumed date of receipt if there is no evidence of earlier receipt, and ending at midnight 30 calendar days thereafter, during which the PSO may submit a substantive response to the deficiency findings in writing.
(ii) The Secretary will provide to the PSO any rules of procedure governing the form or transmission of the written response to the notice of proposed revocation and delisting. Such rules may also be posted on the AHRQ PSO Web site or published in the Federal Register.
(iii) If a PSO does not submit a written response to the deficiency finding(s) within 30 calendar days of receipt of the notice of proposed revocation and delisting, the notice of proposed revocation becomes final as a matter of law and the basis for Secretarial action under paragraph (b)(1) of this section.
(5) The Secretary's decision regarding revocation. The Secretary will review the entire administrative record pertaining to a notice of proposed revocation and delisting and any written materials submitted by the PSO under paragraph (a)(4) of this section. The Secretary may affirm, reverse, or modify the notice of proposed revocation and delisting and will make a determination with respect to the continued listing of the PSO.
(b) Revocation of the Secretary's acceptance of a PSO's certifications -
(1) Establishing the date and time of revocation and delisting. When the Secretary concludes, in accordance with a decision made under paragraphs (a)(5), (e)(3)(iii) or (e)(3)(iv)(C) of this section, that revocation of the acceptance of a PSO's certification is warranted for its failure to comply with requirements of the Patient Safety Act or of this Part, the Secretary will establish the effective time and date for such prompt revocation and removal of the entity from the list of PSOs, so notify the PSO in writing, and provide the relevant public notice required by § 3.108(d) of this subpart.
(2) Required notification of providers and status of data.
(i) Upon being notified of the Secretary's action pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the former PSO will take all reasonable actions to notify each provider, whose patient safety work product it collected or analyzed, of the Secretary's action(s) and the following statutory information: Confidentiality and privilege protections that applied to patient safety work product while the former PSO was listed continue to apply after the entity is removed from listing. Data submitted by providers to the former PSO for 30 calendar days following the date and time on which the entity was removed from the list of PSOs pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section will have the same status as data submitted while the entity was still listed.
(ii) Within 15 days of being notified of the Secretary's action pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the former PSO shall submit to the Secretary confirmation that it has taken the actions in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section.
(3) Disposition of patient safety work product and data. Within 90 days following the effective date of revocation and delisting pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the former PSO will take one or more of the following measures in regard to patient safety work product and data described in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section:
(i) Transfer such patient safety work product or data, with the approval of the source from which it was received, to a PSO that has agreed to receive such patient safety work product or data;
(ii) Return such work product or data to the source from which it was submitted; or
(iii) If returning such patient safety work product or data to its source is not practicable, destroy such patient safety work product or data.
(c) Voluntary relinquishment -
(1) Circumstances constituting voluntary relinquishment. A PSO will be considered to have voluntarily relinquished its status as a PSO if the Secretary accepts a notification from a PSO that it wishes to relinquish voluntarily its listing as a PSO.
(i) An attestation that all reasonable efforts have been made, or will have been made by a PSO within 15 calendar days of this statement, to notify the sources from which it received patient safety work product of the PSO's intention to cease PSO operations and activities, to relinquish voluntarily its status as a PSO, to request that these other entities cease reporting or submitting any further information to the PSO as soon as possible, and inform them that any information reported after the effective date and time of delisting that the Secretary sets pursuant to paragraph (c)(3) of this section will not be protected as patient safety work product under the Patient Safety Act.
(ii) An attestation that the entity has established a plan, or within 15 calendar days of this statement, will have made all reasonable efforts to establish a plan, in consultation with the sources from which it received patient safety work product, that provides for the disposition of the patient safety work product held by the PSO consistent with, to the extent practicable, the statutory options for disposition of patient safety work product as set out in paragraph (b)(3) of this section; and
(iii) Appropriate contact information for further communications from the Secretary.
(3) Response to notification of voluntary relinquishment.
(i) After a PSO provides the notification required by paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the Secretary will respond in writing to the entity indicating whether the proposed voluntary relinquishment of its PSO status is accepted. If the voluntary relinquishment is accepted, the Secretary's response will indicate an effective date and time for the entity's removal from the list of PSOs and will provide public notice of the voluntary relinquishment and the effective date and time of the delisting, in accordance with § 3.108(d) of this subpart.
(ii) If the Secretary receives a notification of voluntary relinquishment during or immediately after revocation proceedings for cause under paragraphs (a)(4) and (a)(5) of this section, the Secretary, as a matter of discretion, may accept voluntary relinquishment in accordance with the preceding paragraph or decide not to accept the entity's proposed voluntary relinquishment and proceed with the revocation for cause and delisting pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section.
(4) Non-applicability of certain procedures and requirements.
(i) A decision by the Secretary to accept a request by a PSO to relinquish voluntarily its status as a PSO pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section does not constitute a determination of a deficiency in PSO compliance with the Patient Safety Act or with this Subpart.
(ii) The procedures and requirements of § 3.108(a) of this subpart regarding deficiencies including the opportunity to correct deficiencies and to be heard in writing, and the procedures and requirements of § 3.108(b) are not applicable to determinations of the Secretary made pursuant to this subsection.
(d) Public notice of delisting regarding removal from listing. If the Secretary removes an entity from the list of PSOs following revocation of acceptance of the entity's certification pursuant to § 3.108(b)(1), voluntary relinquishment pursuant to § 3.108(c)(3), or expiration of an entity's period of listing pursuant to § 3.104(e)(1), the Secretary will promptly publish in the Federal Register and on the AHRQ PSO website, or in a comparable future form of public notice, a notice of the actions taken and the effective dates.
(e) Expedited revocation and delisting -
(1) Basis for expedited revocation. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the Secretary may use the expedited revocation process described in paragraph (e)(3) of this section if he determines -
(2) Applicable provisions. If the Secretary uses the expedited revocation process described in paragraph (e)(3) of this section, the procedures in paragraphs (a)(2) through (5) of this section shall not apply and paragraph (a)(1) and paragraphs (b) and (d) of this section shall apply.
(3) Expedited revocation process.
(A) Identifies the evidence that the circumstances for revocation and delisting under paragraph (a)(1) of this section exist, and any corrective action that the PSO must take if the Secretary determines that corrective action may resolve the matter so that the entity would not be delisted; and
(B) Provides an opportunity for the PSO to respond in writing to correct the facts or the legal bases for delisting found in the notice, and to offer any other grounds for its not being delisted.
(ii) The notice of deficiency will be presumed to be received five days after it is sent, absent evidence of the actual receipt date.
(iii) If the PSO does not submit a written response to the Secretary within 14 calendar days of actual or constructive receipt of such notice, whichever is longer, the Secretary may revoke his acceptance of the PSO's certifications and remove the entity from the list of PSOs.
(A) Withdraw the notice of deficiency;