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Federal Register Highlights – 7/19/13

July 19, 2013

Unpublished, time-sensitive and proposed rules for July 19, 2013:

PROPOSED RULE: This proposed rule would revise the Medicare hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) and the Medicare ambulatory surgical center (ASC) payment system for CY 2014 to implement applicable statutory requirements and changes arising from our continuing experience with these systems. In this proposed rule, we describe the proposed changes to the amounts and factors used to determine the payment rates for Medicare services paid under the OPPS and those paid under the ASC payment system. In addition, this proposed rule would update and refine the requirements for the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting (OQR) Program, the ASC Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program, and the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program. We are proposing changes to the conditions for coverage (CfCs) for organ procurement organizations (OPOs); revisions to the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) regulations; changes to the Medicare fee-for-service Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program; and changes relating to provider reimbursement determinations and appeals. To be assured consideration, comments on all sections of this proposed rule must be received no later than 5 p.m. EST on September 6, 2013. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference file code CMS–1601–P.)

PROPOSED RULE: This major proposed rule addresses changes to the physician fee schedule and other Medicare Part B payment policies to ensure that our payment systems are updated to reflect changes in medical practice and the relative value of services, as well as changes in the statute. To be assured consideration, comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. on September 6, 2013. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference file code CMS–1600–P.)

TEMPORARY RULE: The Commander, First Coast Guard District, has issued a temporary deviation from the regulations governing the operation of the Arthur Kill AK Railroad Bridge across Arthur Kill, mile 11.6, between Staten Island, New York and Elizabeth, New Jersey. Under this temporary deviation the bridge may remain in the closed position for four days to facilitate scheduled maintenance. This deviation is necessary to facilitate tie and miter rail replacement on the lift span. This deviation is effective from July 19, 2013 through July 31, 2013, and has been enforced with actual notice since July 17, 2013.

TEMPORARY RULE: The Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone in St. Helens, OR. This safety zone is necessary to help ensure the safety of the maritime public during a planned fireworks display and will do so by prohibiting unauthorized persons and vessels from entering the safety zone unless authorized by the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port or his designated representatives. This rule is effective on July 27, 2013, from 9:45 p.m. until 10 p.m.

PROPOSED RULE: The Copyright Royalty Judges are publishing for comment proposed regulations that set the rates and terms for the making of an ephemeral recording of a sound recording by a business establishment service for the period January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2018. Comments and objections are due no later than August 19, 2013. (Comments and objections may be sent electronically to crb@loc.gov.)

PROPOSED RULE: Through this rule, HUD proposes to provide HUD program participants with more effective means to affirmatively further the purposes and policies of the Fair Housing Act, which is Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. The Fair Housing Act not only prohibits discrimination but, in conjunction with other statutes, directs HUD’s program participants to take steps proactively to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities for all. As acknowledged by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and many stakeholders, advocates, and program participants, the current practice of affirmatively furthering fair housing carried out by HUD grantees, which involves an analysis of impediments to fair housing choice and a certification that the grantee will affirmatively further fair housing, has not been as effective as had been envisioned. This rule accordingly proposes to refine existing requirements with a fair housing assessment and planning process that will better aid HUD program participants fulfill this statutory obligation and address specific comments the GAO raised. To facilitate this new approach, HUD will provide states, local governments, insular areas, and public housing agencies (PHAs), as well as the communities they serve, with data on patterns of integration and segregation; racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty; access to education, employment, low-poverty, transportation, and environmental health, among other critical assets; disproportionate housing needs based on the classes protected under the Fair Housing Act; data on individuals with disabilities and families with children; and discrimination. From these data, program participants will evaluate their present environment to assess fair housing issues, identify the primary determinants that account for those issues, and set forth fair housing priorities and goals. The benefit of this approach is that these priorities and goals will then better inform program participant’s strategies and actions by improving the integration of the assessment of fair housing through enhanced coordination with current planning exercises. This proposed rule further commits HUD to greater engagement and better guidance for program participants in fulfilling their obligation to affirmatively further fair housing. With this new clarity through guidance, a template for the assessment, and a HUD-review process, program participants should achieve more meaningful outcomes that affirmatively further fair housing. Comment Due Date: September 17, 2013. (To submit comments, visit www.reuglations.gov, reference RIN No. 2501–AD33.)

PROPOSED RULE: This proposed action would implement revisions to the Pacific coast groundfish trawl rationalization program (program), a catch share program, and includes clarifications of regulations that affect the limited entry trawl and limited entry fixed gear sectors managed under the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP). This action proposes to implement trailing actions for the program that either implement original provisions of the program, including quota share (QS) permit application and transfer regulations, increase flexibility or efficiency, or address minor revisions/clarifications. Submit comments on or before August 19, 2013. (To submit comments, visit www.regulations.gov, reference docket number NOAA-NMFS-2013-0086.)

 

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