Reg Watch

The following final rule is undergoing review by the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. This regulation would have an annual economic impact greater than $100 million.

• The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed a rule that would “reduce improper payments for healthcare claims” through Medicaid recovery audit contractors. Under the rule, states would hire auditors to sift through Medicaid claims to “identify overpayments and underpayments and recover overpayments.” States would pay auditors for their work on a contingency basis “for the identification and recovery of overpayments and would decide how to pay auditors for the identification of underpayments.” The contractors would be paid with the funds recovered through the program. The economically significant rule is being implemented as part of the Affordable Care Act. The final rule will be published later this year and will include the deadline for states to implement it.

Public comment periods are closing soon for the following proposed rules:

• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is proposing a rule that would compensate former Energy Department employees and some survivors of employees who have been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The rule would provide for a one-time payment of $150,000 and “prospective medical benefits” for department employees who were exposed to “radiation, beryllium or silica” on the job. The department is requesting comments on the rule until June 20.

• The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission has proposed stricter enforcement to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities seeking services or information from the agency. The commission has proposed a range of requirements to prevent discriminatory practices, including changing terminology such as “handicap” to “disability.” The rule would also mandate modifications to the commission’s technology to make it more accessible. The commission is seeking comment through June 23.

• The Securities and Exchange Commission has proposed a rule that would allow the commission to postpone publishing certain documents. The exemption would only apply to materials related to commission misconduct investigations that could be impeded by immediate publishing. Other documents with “tips, complaints and/or referrals related to the administration of the federal securities laws and workplace violence incidents” databases that are not being using for law enforcement purposes would be published under the usual guidelines. The proposed rule’s comment period closes June 23.

• The Agriculture Department has proposed a rule that would streamline the community facility loan process and “maintain consistency with standard industry contracts.” The changes to the 1970s rule would allow projects with alternate construction methods to apply for grants and loans, whereas before those projects could only apply for loans. The rule is open for comment through June 21.