42 CFR § 405.1034 - Requesting information from the QIC.
(a) If an ALJ or attorney adjudicator believes that the written record is missing information that is essential to resolving the issues on appeal and that information can be provided only by CMS or its contractors, the information may be requested from the QIC that conducted the reconsideration or its successor.
(1) Official copies of redeterminations and reconsiderations that were conducted on the appealed claims, and official copies of dismissals of a request for redetermination or reconsideration, can be provided only by CMS or its contractors. Prior to issuing a request for information to the QIC, OMHA will confirm whether an electronic copy of the redetermination, reconsideration, or dismissal is available in the official system of record, and if so will accept the electronic copy as an official copy.
(2) “Can be provided only by CMS or its contractors” means the information is not publicly available, is not in the possession of, and cannot be requested and obtained by one of the parties. Information that is publicly available is information that is available to the general public via the Internet or in a printed publication. Information that is publicly available includes, but is not limited to, information available on a CMS or contractor Web site or information in an official CMS or DHHS publication (including, but not limited to, provisions of NCDs or LCDs, procedure code or modifier descriptions, fee schedule data, and contractor operating manual instructions).
(d) If an adjudication period applies to the appeal in accordance with § 405.1016, the adjudication period is extended by the period between the date of the request for information and the date the QIC responds to the request or 20 calendar days after the date of the request, whichever occurs first.