CMS issued a Notice of Computer Matching Program (Program) on September 8, 2014, requesting comments on a planned data matching partnership with the United States Department of Treasury. The Program authorizes the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service) to provide CMS with certain data concerning individuals and entities that have been excluded from receiving federal payments, contract awards, or other benefits. The purpose of the Program is to allow CMS to more easily determine whether an individual or entity is eligible to receive such payments, awards, or benefits.
Under the Program, CMS will match data maintained in its Provider, Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS) against data from Fiscal Service’s system. According to the notice, CMS plans to use information derived from the Program for a “variety of activities” relating to health care professional enrollment, to verify payments, to confirm that providers submitting claims are not deceased, and for debt-collection efforts. The notice states that certain matching data may be disclosed to “CMS contractors, consultants, and grantees assisting CMS with PECOS purposes.” The notice also notes that Fiscal Service is permitted to disclose information to CMS to identify, prevent or recoup improper payments.
According to the notice, “[t]he CMP shall become effective no sooner than 40 days after the report of the matching program is sent to [the Office of Management and Budget] and Congress,” or 30 days following publication in the Federal Register, whichever is later.
The notice was published in the Federal Register on September 8, 2014, and comments are due by October 8, 2014.