IFR for EFT at OMB

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) its Interim Final Rule (IFR) for “adoption of standards and operating rules for Electronic Funds Transfers (EFT) and operating rules for remittance advice….” Following the December 15 receipt and subsequent review of the IFR by OMB, the IFR is expected to be published in the Federal Register before January 1, 2012, as required by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-148). [124 STAT. 153]

The legal authority for the IFR is Section 1104 (Administrative Simplification) of the Affordable Care Act.  Section 1104 amends the Purpose of Administrative Simplification, as indicated in bold here:  “To improve efficiency and effectiveness of the health care system, by encouraging the development of a health information system through the establishment of uniform standards and requirements for the electronic transmission of certain health information and to reduce the clerical burden on patients, health care providers, and health plans.” [124 STAT.146]  Section 1104 also requires that a new Administrative Simplification Electronic Funds Transfers Standard and Operating Rule be adopted on an effective date  “not later than January 1, 2012, in a manner ensuring that such standard is effective not later than January 1, 2014,” which may be “on an interim final basis.”  [124 STAT. 153 and 149, respectively] The compliance date for health plans is “not later than the effective date of the applicable standard or operating rule,” which would be in this case December 31, 2013. [124 STAT. 150]

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