System Name: "Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS)," HHS/CMS/ORDI.
Security Classification: Level Three Privacy Act Sensitive Data.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Data Center, 7500 Security Boulevard, North Building, First Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850 and at various contractor sites and at CMS Regional Offices.
Categories of Individuals Covered by the System: Records in this system will be maintained on a random sample of persons enrolled for hospital insurance and/or supplemental medical benefits under the Medicare program.
Categories of Records in the System: Records in this system will include, but are not limited to, name, social security number (SSN), health insurance claim number (HICN), age, gender, ethnicity, education, military service history, income data, marital status, medical utilization and cost data, prescription drug usage and cost data, health and functional status, health insurance coverage, medical condition status, household composition data, and medical provider names.
Authority for Maintenance of the System: Authority for maintenance of the system is given under section 1875 of the Social Security Act (42 United States Code 1395ll).
Purpose(s): The primary purpose of this modified system is to collect and maintain a research database for CMS and other researchers that is capable of producing data sets suitable for both longitudinal and cross-sectional analysis to be used to: (1) Produce projections for current programs and proposed program changes, (2) produce national level estimates of health care expenditures by the aged and disabled, and (3) provide a research database that can be used to provide guidance to program management and policies. The information retrieved from this system of records will also be disclosed to: (1) Support regulatory, reimbursement, and policy functions performed within the agency or by a contractor, consultant, or a CMS grantee; (2) assist another Federal or State agency with information to contribute to the accuracy of CMS's proper payment of Medicare benefits, enable such agency to administer a Federal health benefits program, or to enable such agency to fulfill a requirement of Federal statute or regulation that implements a health benefits program funded in whole or in part with Federal funds; (3) assist an individual or organization for a research project or in support of an evaluation project related to the prevention of disease or disability, the restoration or maintenance of health, or payment related projects; and (4) support litigation involving the agency.
Routine Uses of Records Maintained in the System, Including Categories of Users and the Purposes of such Uses:
The Privacy Act allows us to disclose information without an individual's consent if the information is to be used for a purpose that is compatible with the purpose(s) for which the information was collected. Any such compatible use of data is known as a "routine use." The proposed routine uses in this system meet the compatibility requirement of the Privacy Act. We are proposing to establish the following routine use disclosures of information maintained in the system:
1. To support agency contractors, consultants, or grantees, who have been engaged by the agency to assist in the performance of a service related to this collection and who need to have access to the records in order to perform the activity.
2. To another Federal or State agency to:
a. Contribute to the accuracy of CMS's proper payment of Medicare benefits;
b. Enable such agency to administer a Federal health benefits program, or, as necessary, to enable such agency to fulfill a requirement of a Federal statute or regulation that implements a health benefits program funded in whole or in part with Federal funds; and/or
c. Assist Federal/State Medicaid programs within the State.
3. To assist an individual or organization for a research project or in support of an evaluation project related to the prevention of disease or disability, the restoration or maintenance of health, or payment related projects.
4. To support the Department of Justice (DOJ), court or adjudicatory body when:
a. The agency or any component thereof, or
b. Any employee of the agency in his or her official capacity, or
c. Any employee of the agency in his or her individual capacity where the DOJ has agreed to represent the employee, or
d. The United States Government is a party to litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and by careful review, CMS determines that the records are both relevant and necessary to the litigation and that the use of such records by the DOJ, court or adjudicatory body is compatible with the purpose for which the agency collected the records.
B. Additional Provisions Affecting Routine Use Disclosures.
To the extent this system contains Protected Health Information (PHI) as defined by HHS regulation "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information" (45 CFR Parts 160 and 164, Subparts A and E) 65 FR 82462 (12-28-00). Disclosures of such PHI that are otherwise authorized by these routine uses may only be made if, and as, permitted or required by the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information." (See 45 CFR 164-512(a)(1)).
In addition, our policy will be to prohibit release even of data not directly identifiable, except pursuant to one of the routine uses or if required by law, if we determine there is a possibility that an individual can be identified through implicit deduction based on small cell sizes (instances where the patient population is so small that individuals could, because of the small size, use this information to deduce the identity of the beneficiary).
Policies and Practices for Storing, Retrieving, Accessing, Retaining, and Disposing of Records in the System—
Storage: All records are stored on computer diskette and magnetic storage media.
Retrievability: Information can be retrieved by the name and HICN of the beneficiary.
Safeguards: CMS has safeguards in place for authorized users and monitors such users to ensure against excessive or unauthorized use. Personnel having access to the system have been trained in the Privacy Act and information security requirements. Employees who maintain records in this system are instructed not to release data until the intended recipient agrees to implement appropriate management, operational and technical safeguards sufficient to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the information and information systems and to prevent unauthorized access.
This system will conform to all applicable Federal laws and regulations and Federal, HHS, and CMS policies and standards as they relate to information security and data privacy. These laws and regulations may apply but are not limited to: the Privacy Act of 1974; the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002; the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986; the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996; the E-Government Act of 2002, the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996; the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, and the corresponding implementing regulations. OMB Circular A-130, Management of Federal Resources, Appendix III, Security of Federal Automated Information Resources also applies. Federal, HHS, and CMS policies and standards include but are not limited to: all pertinent National Institute of Standards and Technology publications, the HHS Information Systems Program Handbook and the CMS Information Security Handbook.
Retention and Disposal: Records will be maintained for 10 years after the final action of the research project is complete. All claims-related records are encompassed by the document preservation order and will be retained until notification is received from DOJ.
System Manager(s) and Address(es):
Deputy Director, Office of Research, Development and Information, CMS, Mail Stop C3-20-01, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.
Notification Procedure: For purpose of access, the subject individual should write to the system manager who will require the system name, HICN, address, date of birth, and gender, and for verification purposes, the subject individual's name (woman's maiden name, if applicable), and SSN. Furnishing the SSN is voluntary, but it may make searching for a record easier and prevent delay.
Record Access Procedures: For purpose of access, use the same procedures outlined in Notification Procedures above. Requestors should also specify the record contents being sought. (These procedures are in accordance with department regulation 45 CFR 5b(a)(2)).
Contesting Record Procedures: The subject individual should contact the system manager named above, and reasonably identify the records and specify the information to be contested. State the corrective action sought and the reasons for the correction with supporting justification. (These Procedures are in accordance with Department regulation 45 CFR 5b.7).
Record Source Categories: Information contained in these records will be obtained from the Medicare enrollment records, Medicare bill records, Medicare provider records, Medicare beneficiaries and/or their representatives, and Medicare carriers and intermediaries.
System Exempted from Certain Provisions of the Act: None.