System Name: "Long Term Care-Minimum Data Set (MDS)," Department of Health and Human Servic es (HHS)/Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)/Center for Medicaid and State Operations (CMSO).
Security Classification: Level Three Privacy Act Sensitive.
CMS Data Center, 7500 Security Boulevard, North Building, First Floor, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850, and at various other remote locations.
Categories of Individuals Covered by the System: The system contains information on residents in all long-term care facilities that are Medicare and/or Medicaid certified, including private pay individuals including but not limited to Medicare enrollment and entitlement, and Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) data containing other party liability insurance information necessary for appropriate Medicare claim payment.
Categories of Records in the System: The system also contains the individual's health insurance numbers, name, geographic location, race/ethnicity, sex, and date of birth, hospice election, premium billing and collection, direct billing information, and group health plan enrollment data.
Authority for Maintenance of the System: Authority for maintenance of the system is given under of §§ 1102(a), 1819(b)(3)(A), 1819(f), 919(b)(3)(A), 1919(f), and 1864 of the Social Security Act.
Purpose(s): The primary purpose of the system is to aid in the administration of the survey and certification, and payment of Medicare Long Term Care services, which include skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), nursing facilities (NFs) SNFs/NFs, and hospital swing beds, and to study the effectiveness and quality of care given in those facilities. Information in this system will also be used to: (1) Support regulatory, reimbursement, and policy functions performed within the Agency or by a contractor or consultant; (2) assist another Federal or state agency, agency of a state government, an agency established by state law, or its fiscal agent; (3) support Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO); (4) assist other insurers for processing individual insurance claims; (5) facilitate research on the quality and effectiveness of care provided, as well as payment related projects; (6) support litigation involving the Agency; (7) assist national accrediting organizations; and (8) combat fraud, waste, and abuse in certain health benefits programs.
Routine Uses of Records Maintained in the System, Including Categories of Users and the Purposes of such Uses:
A. Entities Who May Receive Disclosures under Routine Use
These routine uses specify circumstances, in addition to those provided by statute in the Privacy Act of 1974, under which CMS may release information from the MDS without the consent of the individual to whom such information pertains. Each proposed disclosure of information under these routine uses will be evaluated to ensure that the disclosure is legally permissible, including but not limited to ensuring that the purpose of the disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which the information was collected. We have provided a brief explanation of the routine uses we are proposing to establish or modify for disclosures of information maintained in the system:
1. To support Agency contractors, consultants, or grantees who have been contracted by the Agency to assist in accomplishment of a CMS function relating to the purposes for this system and who need to have access to the records in order to assist CMS.
2. To assist another Federal or state agency, agency of a state government, an agency established by state law, or its fiscal agent 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 support Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO) in connection with review of claims, or in connection with studies or other review activities, conducted pursuant to Part B of Title XI of the Act and in performing affirmative outreach activities to individuals for the purpose of establishing and maintaining their entitlement to Medicare benefits or health insurance plans.
4. To assist insurance companies, underwriters, third party administrators (TPA), employers, self-insurers, group health plans, health maintenance organizations (HMO), health and welfare benefit funds, managed care organizations, other supplemental insurers, non-coordinating insurers, multiple employer trusts, liability insurers, no-fault medical automobile insurers, workers compensation carriers or plans, other groups providing protection against medical expenses without the beneficiary's authorization, and any entity having knowledge of the occurrence of any event affecting (a) an individual's right to any such benefit or payment, or (b) the initial right to any such benefit or payment, for the purpose of coordination of benefits with the Medicare program and implementation of the MSP provision at 42 U.S.C. 1395y (b). Information to be disclosed shall be limited to Medicare utilization data necessary to perform that specific function. In order to receive the information, they must agree to:
a. Certify that the individual about whom the information is being provided is one of its insured or employees, or is insured and/or employed by another entity for whom they serve as a TPA;
b. Utilize the information solely for the purpose of processing the individual's insurance claims; and
c. Safeguard the confidentiality of the data and prevent unauthorized access.
5. To support an individual or organization for research, evaluation, or epidemiological projects related to the prevention of disease or disability, the restoration or maintenance of health, or payment related projects.
6. To assist 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.
7. To support a national accrediting organization whose accredited facilities are presumed to meet certain Medicare requirements for inpatient hospital (including swing beds) services; e.g., the Joint Commission for the Accrediting of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Information will be released to accrediting organizations only for those facilities that they accredit and that participate in the Medicare program.
8. To assist CMS contractor (including, but not limited to fiscal intermediaries and carriers) that assists in the administration of a CMS- administered health benefits program, or to a grantee of a CMS-administered grant program, when disclosure is deemed reasonably necessary by CMS to prevent, deter, discover, detect, investigate, examine, prosecute, sue with respect to, defend against, correct, remedy, or otherwise combat fraud, waste, or abuse in such program.
9. To support another Federal agency or to an instrumentality of any governmental jurisdiction within or under the control of the United States (including any state or local governmental agency), that administers, or that has the authority to investigate potential fraud, waste, or abuse in a health benefits program funded in whole or in part by Federal funds, when disclosure is deemed reasonably necessary by CMS to prevent, deter, discover, detect, investigate, examine, prosecute, sue with respect to, defend against, correct, remedy, or otherwise combat fraud, waste, or abuse in such programs.
B. Additional Circumstances 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 magnetic media.
Retrievability: All Medicare records are accessible by HIC number or alpha (name) search. This system supports both online and batch access.
Safeguards: CMS has safeguards in place for authorized users and monitors such users to ensure against 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 include 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 NIST publications; the HHS Automated Information Systems Security Handbook and the CMS Information Security Handbook.
Retention and Disposal: Records will be retained until an approved disposition authority is obtained from the National Archives and Records Administration.
System Manager(s) and Address(es):
Director, Survey and Certification Group, Center for Medicaid and State Operations, CMS, 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, health insurance claim number, address, date of birth, and sex, and for verification purposes, the subject individual's name (woman's maiden name, if applicable), and social security number (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 reasonably specify the record contents being sought. (These procedures are in accordance with department regulation 45 CFR 5b.5 (a) (2)).
Contesting Record Procedures: The subject individual should contact the system manager named above, and reasonably identify the record 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: The data contained in these records are furnished by the individual, or in the case of some MSP situations, through third party contacts. There are cases, however, in which the identifying information is provided to the physician by the individual; the physician then adds the medical information and submits the bill to the carrier for payment. Updating information is also obtained from the Railroad Retirement Board, and the Master Beneficiary Record maintained by the Social Security Administration.
Exemptions Claimed for the System: None.