System name: Health Care Program Violations.
Security classification: None.
System location: This system is located in the Office of Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services, 330 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20201. The database for this system, known as the List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE), is on a local area network in the Wilber H. Cohen Building, 330 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC. The system is operated by the Office of Inspector General.
Categories of individuals and entities covered by the system: Individuals and entities covered by this system are employees and former employees, HHS grantees, contractors, sub-contractors and their employees; employees of State agencies and Medicare carriers and intermediaries; Medicare and Medicaid providers; recipients under programs administered or funded by the Federal and State programs; and others involved in health care. It includes individuals and entities who have been excluded from participation in the Medicare, Medicaid, and all Federal health care programs as defined in section 1128B(f) of the Social Security Act. The individuals would include physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, therapists, suppliers and private citizens receiving Federal payments for the furnishing of items or services covered by any Federal or private program.
Categories of records in the system: The Health Care Program Violations System contains public information on individuals and entities which have been excluded from participation in the Medicare, Medicaid, and all other Federal health care programs (after August 1997, in accordance with Pub. L. 105-33), including names, publicly available Social Security numbers, individual Social Security numbers (and Employer Identification numbers, if applicable), aliases and ``doing-business-as,'' addresses, and other available unique identifiers related to fraud, waste and abuse; occupations and specialties, and institutional affiliations; type and date of exclusion.
Authority for maintenance of the system: 5 U.S.C. App. 3.
Purpose(s): The Health Care Program Violations System is used to protect program beneficiaries and to reduce fraud and abuse in Federal health care programs by providing a clearinghouse of public information on individuals and entities excluded from health care programs.
Routine uses of records maintained in the system, including categories of users and purposes of such uses:
1. Information maintained by this system may be disclosed, as a routine use, to Federal, State, local, public and private agencies and organizations, as follows:
a. Agencies or organizations which reimburse or regulate individuals or entities with respect to the furnishing of health- related services or items.
b. Agencies or organizations which license, certify, or otherwise regulate the health-related activities of individuals and entities which provide health care services or items, to alert them to possibly disqualifying actions, practices or conditions.
c. Agencies or organizations charged with investigating or prosecuting possible violations indicated in items a and b.
d. Agencies and their agents or representatives enforcing debarments, suspensions and exclusions under the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994.
e. Upon written request, agencies and/or their contractors or organizations seeking information in connection with the hiring or retention of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance, the reporting of an investigation of an employee, the awarding of a contract, or the issuance of a license, grant or other benefit by the requesting agency, to the extent that the record is relevant and necessary to the requesting agency's decision on the matter.
f. Professional and business organizations concerned with standards and conduct of individuals and entities engaged in providing health care items and services.
g. Scholars or other researchers investigating trends and characteristics in the health care field.
2. Disclosure may be made to a Congressional office from the record of an individual or entity in response to an inquiry from the Congressional office made at the request of that individual or entity.
3. In the event of litigation, information from the system of records may be disclosed to the Department of Justice, to a judicial or administrative tribunal, opposing counsel, and witnesses, in the course of proceedings involving HHS, any HHS employee (where the matter pertains to the employee's official duties), or the United States, or any agency thereof where the litigation is likely to affect HHS, or HHS is a party or has an interest in the litigation and the use of the information is relevant and necessary to the litigation.
Policies and practices for storing, retrieving, revealing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system:
Storage: Paper records, which includes program exclusion case files, are kept in files and file folders. Electronic records are stored on hard or floppy disks and tapes.
Retrievability: The agency retrieves records from files indexed alphabetically by geographic region. Both paper records and electronic records are retrievable by agency-assigned internal case control numbers, name, personal identifier fields such as date of birth, UPIN, Social Security or Employer Identification number, address, specialty/ occupation, program violated, date of exclusion, and type of exclusion. Indirect access to the database on public records fields is available to the general public on the OIG's Internet site (http:// www.dhhs.gov/progorg/oig<http://www.dhhs.gov/progorg/oig>).
Safeguards: Paper records are stored in secured cabinets behind a locked door with access limited to authorized personnel. Computer based records are available only to authorized users and are safeguarded in accordance with the provisions of the National Bureau of Standards Federal Information Processing Standards 41 and 31, and the HHS Information Processing Standards, HHS ADP Systems Manual, Part 6, ``ADP Systems Security.'' All computer tapes are password protected prohibiting unauthorized access.
Retention and disposal: The OIG maintains the hardcopy records and files for one year, after which they are transferred to the Federal Records Center for an additional 5 years. The electronic records system is maintained for an indefinite period of time.
System manager(s) and address: The Systems Manager is an employee of Office of Investigations, Office of Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services, 330 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20201. The OIG web site is managed by the Office of Information Technology, Office of Inspector General, at this same address.
Notification procedure: An individual who wishes to be notified whether the system contains a record should make a request electronically to the OIG web site at http://www.dhhs.gov/progorg/oig. Media inquiries should be directed to the HHS/OIG External Affairs Office, 330 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20201. Requests for written documentation should be submitted in writing, together with a printout from the OIG web site identifying the individual or entity, to the Office of Investigations, Health Care Administrative Sanctions, Room N2-01-26, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850.
Record access procedure: Same as notification procedure.
Contesting record procedures: An individual who wishes to contest the record procedures should contact the Office of Health Care Administrative Sanctions, Office of Investigations, Office of Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services, Room N2-01-26, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850. The individual or entity should reasonably identify the record and specify the information to be contested, the corrective action sought and the reasons for the correction, with supporting documentation.
Record source categories: The sources are Government and private agencies and organizations.
Systems exempted from certain provisions of the act: None.