• AHA Comments on Proposed Disclosure of Financial Relationships Report Form
  • December 21, 2009 | Author: Catherine S. "Kate" Stern
  • Law Firm: King & Spalding LLP - Atlanta Office
  • On December 19, 2008, CMS announced that it had submitted a new proposed Disclosure of Financial Relationships Report (DFRR) form to the OMB for review. Under the proposal, hospitals would be required to provide documents, report information about their arrangements with physicians, and certify the accuracy of their responses to CMS. In the announcement, CMS stated that the agency plans to distribute the DFRR to 400 private sector for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals and estimated the time required for each hospital to complete the form to be 100 hours. Comments regarding the proposed collection were due to the OMB by January 20, 2009.

    This is not the first time that CMS has submitted a proposed DFRR to the OMB. CMS withdrew a similar proposal in April of last year after it had been under review by the OMB for several months. On January 16, 2009, the AHA submitted a letter requesting that OMB deny CMS the authorization to proceed on the basis that, according to AHA, CMS "repeatedly has failed to meet its burden under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) to demonstrate that the proposed collection 'is the least burdensome necessary.'" AHA also argued that the DFFR is "fundamentally unfair" because hundreds of community hospitals would be subjected to an “extraordinary burden” that is “significantly understated” by CMS, yet they would not receive any benefit in return, such as a “binding determination” that they could rely on going forward stating that their arrangements are in compliance.