NRPM: Standard Employer Identifier. Collection of Information Requirements

06/16/1998

[Please label written and e-mailed comments about this section with the subject: PRA.]

Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we are required to provide 60-day notice in the Federal Register and solicit public comment before a collection of information requirement is submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. In order to fairly evaluate whether an information collection should be approved by OMB, section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 requires that we solicit comment on the following issues:

  • The need for the information collection and its usefulness in carrying out the proper functions of our agency.
  • The accuracy of our estimate of the information collection burden.
  • The quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.
  • Recommendations to minimize the information collection burden on the affected public, including automated collection techniques.

§ 142.604 Requirements: Health plans.

Health plans would be required to accept the EIN on all electronic transactions and transmit the EIN on all electronic transmissions that require an employer identifier.

§ 142.608 Requirements: Health care providers.

Each health care provider would be required to obtain and use the EIN of the employer on all electronically transmitted standard transactions that require it.

§ 142.610 Requirements: Employers.

Each employer would have to disclose its EIN, when requested, to any entity that conducts standard electronic transactions that require that employer’s identifier.

Discussion:

The emerging and increasing use of health care EDI standards and transactions raises the issue of the applicability of the PRA. The question arises whether a regulation that adopts an EDI standard used to exchange certain information constitutes an information collection subject to the PRA. However, for the purpose of soliciting useful public comment we provide the following burden estimates.

In particular, the initial burden on the estimated 4 million health plans and 1.2 million health care providers to modify their current computer systems software would be 2 hours/$60 per entity, for a total burden of 10.4 million hours/$312 million. While this burden estimate may appear low, on average, we believe it to be accurate. This is based on the assumption that these and the other burden calculations associated with HIPAA administrative simplification systems modifications may overlap and is also based on the overwhelming extent to which the EIN is already in use in the health care community. This average also takes into consideration that (1) this standard may not be used by several of the entities included in the estimate, (2) this standard may already be in use by several of the entities included in the estimate, (3) modifications may be performed in an aggregate manner during the course of routine business and/or, (4) modifications may be made by contractors, such as practice management vendors, in a single effort for a multitude of affected entities.

We invite public comment on the issues discussed above. If you comment on these information collection and recordkeeping requirements, please e-mail comments to JBurke1@hcfa.gov (Attn:HCFA-0047) or mail copies directly to the following:

Health Care Financing Administration,
Office of Information Services,
Information Technology Investment Management Group,
Division of HCFA Enterprise Standards,
Room C2-26-17, 7500 Security Boulevard,
Baltimore, MD 21244-1850
Attn: John Burke HCFA-0047, HCFA Reports Clearance Officer

And,

Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs,
Office of Management and Budget,
Room 10235, New Executive Office Building,
Washington, DC 20503,
Attn: Allison Herron Eydt, HCFA Desk Officer.

VI. Response to Comments

Because of the large number of items of correspondence we normally receive on Federal Register documents published for comment, we are not able to acknowledge or respond to them individually. We will consider all comments we receive by the date and time specified in the "DATES" section of this preamble, and, if we proceed with a subsequent document, we will respond to the comments in the preamble to that document.