10.54.03.03 - Definitions

10.54.03.03. Definitions

A. In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.

B. Terms Defined.

(1) "Above 50 percent vendor" means a vendor that derives or will derive after commencement of business more than 50 percent of the vendor's annual food sales revenue from WIC food instruments.

(2) "Accounting records" means:

(a) Legible records that show actual numbers of eligible food sales from the vendor and not an estimated number or percentage of eligible food sales; and

(b) Actual WIC sales for each individual day.

(3) "Approved foods" means the types and brands of foods:

(a) Approved by the State agency for use by Program participants;

(b) Included on the Maryland WIC Authorized Foods List; and

(c) Included in the Approved Product List (APL).

(4-1) "Approved Product List (APL)" means the electronic list of approved foods maintained by the State agency.

(4-2) "Authorization" means approval by the State agency for a food store, pharmacy only food store/pharmacy combination, or a military commissary to redeem WIC food instruments as a vendor

(4-3) "Benefits" means the foods prescribed and services provided to a participant by the Program.

(5) "Change in ownership" means the transfer of majority control or ownership of a store.

(6) "Compliance buy" means a covert, on-site investigation in which a representative of the Program:

(a) Poses as a:

(i) Participant;

(ii) Parent, guardian, or caretaker of an infant or child participant; or

(iii) Proxy;

(b) Presents one or more food instruments to be redeemed for food; and

(c) Does not reveal during the visit that the individual is a Program representative.

(7) "Day" means a calendar day.

(8) "Disqualification" means revocation of a vendor's WIC authorization for a specified period of time as prescribed in Regulation .16 of this chapter.

(9) "Excess charges" means the amount above the maximum price payable for the food benefits charged by a vendor to the Program.

(10) "Exempt infant formulas" means those infant formulas available, which are not categorized as either contract or noncontract, standard infant formulas.

(11) "Food instrumenf" means an electronic benefits issuance card or other document that is used to obtain supplemental foods.

(12) "Food package" means a grouping of specified types and amounts of foods, as set forth in Regulation .06A of this chapter, used for the purpose of evaluating vendor prices.

(13) "Food sales" means sales of all SNAP eligible foods intended for home preparation and consumption, as set forth in 7 CFR § 246.2.

(14) "Food store" means a grocery or supermarket licensed under COMAR 10.15.03 that ordinarily has, for sale to the public, authorized foods and does not have a pharmacy under the same ownership on its premises.

(15) "Food store/pharmacy combination" means a food store and a pharmacy under the same ownership on the same premises.

(16) "High risk" means a vendor has been determined by the State agency to have a high probability of violating program requirements.

(17) "Inventory audit" means an audit conducted over a specific period of time in order to determine whether a vendor's claimed reimbursement for the sale of an amount of a specific food item exceeds the vendor's documented inventory of that item.

(18) "Inventory invoices" mean sales receipts for WIC food purchased by the vendor for resale by the vendor, from a supplier which can be a wholesaler, distributor, manufacturer, or other retailer.

(19) "Maximum price payable" means the maximum amount of money the Program will pay a vendor for the WIC food items on the food instrument.

(20) "Medical foods" means WIC-eligible formula authorized for children and women with special dietary needs.

(21) "Minimum required stock" means the specific types and amounts of WIC-authorized foods that shall be in a vendor's store during business hours.

(22) "Monitoring" means assessing vendor compliance with program requirements.

(23) "Nonprofit entity" means a vendor applicant or vendor whose business has been granted a 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3) federal income tax exemption by the United States Internal Revenue Service.

(24) "On-site review" means an inspection of a vendor applicant's premises by a Program representative to ensure that requirements for authorization are met.

(25) "Participanf" means a pregnant woman, a breastfeeding woman, a postpartum woman, an infant, a breastfed infant of a participant breastfeeding woman, or a child receiving supplemental foods or food benefits from the Program.

(26) "Pattern" means two or more vendor violations of the same provision.

(27) Peer Group. "Peer group" means a breakdown of stores by size within regions as follows:

(a) Peer group 1, region 1, large stores, 8 or more check-out lanes;

(b) Peer group 2, region 1, medium stores, 4 - 7 check-out lanes;

(c) Peer group 3, region 1, small stores, 1 - 3 check-out lanes;

(d) Peer group 4, region 2, large stores, 8 or more check-out lanes;

(e) Peer group 5, region 2, medium stores, 4 - 7 check-out lanes;

(f) Peer group 6, region 2, small stores, 1 - 3 check-out lanes;

(g) Peer group 7, region 3, large stores, 8 or more check-out lanes;

(h) Peer group 8, region 3, medium stores, 4 - 7 check-out lanes;

(i) Peer group 9, region 3, small stores, 1 - 3 check-out lanes;

(j) Peer group 10, region 4, large stores, 8 or more check-out lanes;

(k) Peer group 11, region 4, medium stores, 4 - 7 check-out lanes;

(l) Peer group 12, region 4, small stores, 1 - 3 check-out lanes;

(m) Peer group 13, region 5, large stores, 8 or more check-out lanes;

(n) Peer group 14, region 5, medium stores, 4 - 7 check-out lanes;

(o) Peer group 15, region 5, small stores, 1 - 3 check-out lanes;

(p) Peer group 16, region 6, large stores, 8 or more check-out lanes;

(q) Peer group 17, region 6, medium stores, 4 - 7 check-out lanes;

(r) Peer group 18, region 6, small stores, 1 - 3 check-out lanes; and

(s) Peer group 19, all above 50 percent vendors.

(28) "Peer group average" means the arithmetic mean of prices charged by vendors within a peer group for food items.

(29) "Pharmacy only" means an establishment that:

(a) Has been issued a permit to operate by the State Board of Pharmacy;

(b) Does not have a food store under the same ownership on its premises; and

(c) Once authorized, can only accept WIC food instruments that prescribe infant formula and WIC-eligible medical foods.

(29-1) "PIN" means a personal identification number used to securely access benefits on the food instrument

(30) "Program" means the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 1786, the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended, including the local, State, and federal entities that administer it.

(31) "Proxy" means an individual who is designated by a participant or a child, or infant participant's parent, guardian, orcaretaker to receive food instruments and to redeem food benefits for the participant and whose name is on file at a local agency.

(32) "Region" means a designated area of the State, as set forth in § B of this regulation, for administration of the WIC Program including vendor selection and peer group designation.

(33) "Region 1" means Allegany and Garrett counties.

(34) "Region 2" means Frederick and Washington counties.

(35) "Region 3" means Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, and Howard counties.

(36) "Region 4" means Baltimore City.

(37) "Region 5" means Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

(38) "Region 6" means Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester counties.

(39) "Standard infant formulas" means nutritionally complete infant formulas which do not require the addition of any ingredient other than water before being served in a liquid state and which supply at least 10 milligrams of iron per liter at standard dilution and approximately 20 kilocalories per fluid ounce at standard dilution.

(40) "State agency" means the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's WIC Program.

(41) "Store" means a food store, pharmacy, food store/pharmacy combination, or military commissary.

(42) "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)" means the federal program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture that provides financial assistance for purchasing food.

(43) "Traffic" means to buy or sell a food instrument or benefits for cash.

(44) "Universal Product Code (UPC)" means a unique barcode assigned to a trade item and used to track items for sale in stores, such as food

(45) "USDA" means the United States Department of Agriculture.

(46) "Vendor" means a sole proprietorship, partnership, cooperative association, corporation, or other business entity operating one or more stores authorized by the State agency to provide authorized supplemental foods to participants under a retail food delivery system.

(47) "Vendor agreement" means a written agreement between the State agency and a vendor concerning the duties and responsibilities of the vendor and the State agency with respect to a vendor's participation in the WIC Program.

(48) "Vendor applicant" means a sole proprietorship, partnership, cooperative association, corporation, or other business entity operating one or more stores that has applied to the State agency for authorization.

(49) "Vendor price list form" means the form used by the State agency to collect a vendor's shelf prices for WIC food items.

(50) "Vendor's price" means the cost of a food package listed in Regulation .06A of this chapter as calculated from actual lowest shelf prices collected by the State agency during an on-site visit.

(51) "WIC" means the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) as authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 1786, the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended.

(52) "WIC-authorized foods list" means a list of foods authorized by the Maryland WIC program for purchase by Maryland WIC participants.

(53) "WIC Management Information System" means the WIC Program's software application, which provides:

(a) Client services;

(b) Financial management; and

(c) Vendor compliance oversight.

(Regulations.03 adopted as an emergency provision effective November 1, 1995 (22:22 Md. R. 1655 and 22:23 Md. R. 1796); emergency status expired May 1, 1996 Regulations.03 adopted effective May 2, 1996 (23:6 Md. R. 476) Regulations.03 amended as an emergency provision effective November 1, 1996 (23:24 Md. R. 1679); amended permanently effective February 24, 1997 (24:4 Md. R. 292) Regulations.03 amended as an emergency provision effective October 1, 2002 (29:23 Md. R. 1807); amended permanently effective March 31, 2003 (30:6 Md. R. 421) Regulations.03 amended as an emergency provision effective December 15, 2006 (34:1 Md. R. 29); amended permanently effective April 9, 2007 (34:7 Md. R. 699) Regulation .03B amended effective 41:9 Md. R. 521, eff. 5/12/2014 Regulations.03B amended as an emergency provision effective December 22, 2004 (32:1 Md. R. 25); amended permanently effective March 14, 2005 (32:5 Md. R. 581) Regulations.03B amended as an emergency provision effective November 3, 2008 (35:24 Md. R. 2069); amended permanently effective February 9, 2009 (36:3 Md. R. 209) Regulation .03B amended as an emergency provision effective October 5, 2011 (38:23 Md. R. 1416); amended permanently effective December 26, 2011 (38:26 Md. R. 1697); amended effective 44:5 Md. R. 293, eff. 3/13/2017; amended effective 47:20 Md. R. 875, eff. 10/5/2020)

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