Black Lung Benefits Act: Medical Benefit Payments, 64197-64198 [2019-25282]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 225 / Thursday, November 21, 2019 / Rules and Regulations as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to engines, propellers, and associated appliances to the Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation Division. Regulatory Findings This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. For the reasons discussed above, the FAA certifies that this AD: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866, and (2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. Adoption of the Amendment Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows: PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] 2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): ■ 2019–21–51 General Electric Company: Amendment 39–19798; Docket No. FAA–2019–0894; Product Identifier 2019–NE–32–AD. (a) Effective Date This AD is effective December 6, 2019 to all persons except those persons to whom it was made immediately effective by Emergency AD 2019–21–51, issued on October 23, 2019, which contained the requirements of this amendment. (b) Affected ADs None. (c) Applicability This AD applies to all General Electric Company (GE) GE90–115B model turbofan VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:55 Nov 20, 2019 Jkt 250001 engines with engine serial numbers 907451, 907464, 907504, 907564, 907574, 907599, 907601, and 907618. (d) Subject Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC) Code 7250, Turbine Section. (e) Unsafe Condition This AD was prompted by a recent event involving an uncontained high-pressure turbine (HPT) failure, resulting in an aborted takeoff, debris penetrating the aircraft’s fuselage and the other engine. The FAA is issuing this AD to prevent failure of the HPT. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in uncontained HPT failure, release of high-energy debris, damage to the engine, damage to the airplane, and loss of the airplane. (f) Compliance Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done. (g) Required Action Within 25 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, remove from service the Interstage Seal, part number 2505M72P01 with serial numbers GWN0TCL3, NCE062LD, NCE254LC, NCE314KU, NCE374LB, NCE527KT, NCE777LD, or NCE994KW. Note 1 to paragraph (g): GE Alert Service Bulletin GE90–100 S/B 72–A0826, dated October 23, 2019, contains guidance for replacing the Interstage Seal. (h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) (1) The Manager, ECO Branch, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the certification office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (i) of this AD. You may email your request to ANE-AD-AMOC@ faa.gov. (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/ certificate holding district office. (i) Related Information For more information about this AD, contact Herman Mak, Aerospace Engineer, ECO Branch, FAA, 1200 District Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781–238– 7147; fax: 781–238–7199; Email: herman.mak@faa.gov. (j) Material Incorporated by Reference None. Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on November 14, 2019. Robert J. Ganley, Manager, Engine and Propeller Standards Branch, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. 2019–25129 Filed 11–20–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 64197 DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs 20 CFR Part 725 RIN 1240–AA11 Black Lung Benefits Act: Medical Benefit Payments Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, Labor. ACTION: Final rule; delay of applicability date. AGENCY: The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) has encountered unforeseen delays in implementing a new computer system to process payments for professional medical and hospital outpatient services made by the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund (Trust Fund) under the Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA). This action delays the applicability date of two rules relevant to these payments, which were published in the Federal Register on June 14, 2018. DATES: Effective date: This rule is effective November 21, 2019. Applicability date: The applicability date for 20 CFR 725.708(a) and (b) and 725.710 is delayed from November 30, 2019 to April 26, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael A. Chance, Director, Division of Coal Mine Workers’ Compensation, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Suite N– 3520, Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: 1–800–347–2502. This is a toll-free number. TTY/TDD callers may dial toll-free 1–800–877–8339 for further information. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Trust Fund pays for covered medical services and treatments provided to certain miners who are entitled to BLBA disability benefits. See generally 33 U.S.C. 907, as incorporated by 30 U.S.C. 932(a); 83 FR 27690 (June 14, 2018). On June 14, 2018, OWCP published a final rule revising its regulations governing the payment of medical benefits by the Trust Fund. 83 FR 27690–27699. The revised rules adopt payment formulas that accurately reflect prevailing community rates for authorized treatments and services. While the revised regulations became effective on August 31, 2018, 83 FR 27690, the Department set a separate applicability date for the rules governing payments for professional medical and outpatient services. Id.; see SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\21NOR1.SGM 21NOR1 64198 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 225 / Thursday, November 21, 2019 / Rules and Regulations also 20 CFR 725.708(c) and 725.710(d). In adopting this approach, the Department explained that payment of these bills ‘‘would require extensive modifications to the existing computer processes for full implementation. The Department is currently transitioning to a new computer system and will realize cost-savings by building the new payment methodologies into that system rather than modifying the existing one.’’ 83 FR 27691. The Department has been diligently working toward developing and deploying a new computer system to implement the new payment formulas but has encountered unforeseen delays. While many of the issues causing these delays have been resolved, OWCP cannot complete development of the new computer system without shifting significant resources from other critical workloads in time to process professional and outpatient bills by the current November 30, 2019 applicability date. As an alternative, OWCP considered, but rejected, manually processing these bills in the interim. Based on black lung program data from FY 2015 through FY 2017, OWCP estimates it receives an average of approximately 69,000 requests annually for payment of professional medical services alone. OWCP does not have the staff necessary to manually process this volume of bills. Thus, without an adequate computer system, it would be impractical for OWCP to timely process and pay professional and outpatient bills due to the volume. As a result, the Department is delaying the applicability date of the rules governing payment of these bills until April 26, 2020, the day before the new computer system is now scheduled to become operational. The Department’s implementation of this action without opportunity for public comment, effective immediately upon publication, is based on the good cause exceptions in the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and 553(d)(3). Section 553(b)(B) provides that an agency may issue a rule without notice and comment when the agency for ‘‘good cause’’ finds ‘‘that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.’’ Section 553(d) provides that final rules may not become effective less than thirty days after publication in the Federal Register ‘‘except . . . as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause,’’ among other exceptions. Under these standards, the Department has determined that there is good cause for making this rule final without notice and comment procedures, and effective immediately VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:55 Nov 20, 2019 Jkt 250001 upon Federal Register publication. As already noted, OWCP does not have the capacity to manually process the volume of bills it receives for professional and outpatient medical services. Thus, delaying the rule’s application is a necessity: Without the delay, OWCP would no longer be able to promptly pay medical professionals and hospitals who provide treatment services to totally disabled coal miners. That result is contrary to the interests of miners and medical providers alike. Delaying the rules’ application also does not impose any additional procedural burdens on the treatment providers. They will continue to seek payment in the same manner they do now no matter when the rules become applicable. See generally 20 CFR 725.714 and 725.715. Finally, neither medical professionals nor outpatient services providers will be harmed economically by the delay in any significant way. The Department summarized its economic impact analysis of the new payment formulas in its notice of proposed rulemaking. 82 FR 739, 745–765 (Jan. 4, 2017). The Department compared payments it actually made from the Trust Fund in FY 2014 with payments it would have made if the new payment formulas in the proposed (and eventually final) rules applied. For both medical professionals and outpatient services, total annual Trust Fund payments decreased, in the aggregate, under the new payment formulas: $8,493 for professionals and $1,719,543 for outpatient services. 82 FR 746–748. Thus, delaying application of the new payment formulas will not, in the aggregate, harm the providers of either professional or outpatient services. List of Subjects in 20 CFR Part 725 Administrative practice and procedure, Black lung benefits, Claims, Coal miners’ entitlement to benefits, Health care, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Survivors’ entitlement to benefits, Total disability due to pneumoconiosis, Vocational rehabilitation, Workers’ compensation. For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Department of Labor amends 20 CFR part 725 as follows: PART 725—CLAIMS FOR BENEFITS UNDER PART C OF TITLE IV OF THE FEDERAL MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT, AS AMENDED 1. The authority citation for part 725 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note (Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990); Pub. L. 114–74 at sec. 701; Reorganization Plan No. 6 of 1950, PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 15 FR 3174; 30 U.S.C. 901 et seq., 902(f), 921, 932, 936; 33 U.S.C. 901 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 405; Secretary’s Order 10–2009, 74 FR 58834. § 725.708 [Amended] 2. In § 725.708, amend paragraph (c) by removing the date ‘‘November 30, 2019’’ and adding in its place ‘‘April 26, 2020’’. ■ § 725.710 [Amended] 3. In § 725.710, amend paragraph (d) by removing the date ‘‘November 30, 2019’’ and adding in its place ‘‘April 26, 2020’’. ■ Julia K. Hearthway, Director, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. [FR Doc. 2019–25282 Filed 11–18–19; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4510–CR–P DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE 28 CFR Part 16 [CPCLO Order No. 11–2019] Privacy Act of 1974; Implementation Executive Office for Immigration Review, United States Department of Justice. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), a component within the United States Department of Justice (DOJ or Department), is finalizing without changes its Privacy Act exemption regulations for the system of records titled, Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) Case Management System (CMS), JUSTICE/ EOIR–002, which were published as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on August 16, 2019. Specifically, the Department’s regulations will exempt the records maintained in JUSTICE/ EOIR–002 from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act. The exemptions are necessary to ensure the integrity of investigatory and adjudicatory records in cases before OCAHO. The Department received two comments and neither comments were substantive. DATES: This final rule is effective December 23, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michelle Curry, Associate General Counsel and Senior Component Official for Privacy, Office of the General Counsel, Executive Office for Immigration Review, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 2600, Falls Church, VA 22041, by email at michelle.curry@ usdoj.gov, or by facsimile at 703–305– 0443. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\21NOR1.SGM 21NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 225 (Thursday, November 21, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 64197-64198]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-25282]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Office of Workers' Compensation Programs

20 CFR Part 725

RIN 1240-AA11


Black Lung Benefits Act: Medical Benefit Payments

AGENCY: Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, Labor.

ACTION: Final rule; delay of applicability date.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) has 
encountered unforeseen delays in implementing a new computer system to 
process payments for professional medical and hospital outpatient 
services made by the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund (Trust Fund) 
under the Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA). This action delays the 
applicability date of two rules relevant to these payments, which were 
published in the Federal Register on June 14, 2018.

DATES: 
    Effective date: This rule is effective November 21, 2019.
    Applicability date: The applicability date for 20 CFR 725.708(a) 
and (b) and 725.710 is delayed from November 30, 2019 to April 26, 
2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael A. Chance, Director, Division 
of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation, Office of Workers' Compensation 
Programs, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Suite 
N-3520, Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: 1-800-347-2502. This is a 
toll-free number. TTY/TDD callers may dial toll-free 1-800-877-8339 for 
further information.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Trust Fund pays for covered medical 
services and treatments provided to certain miners who are entitled to 
BLBA disability benefits. See generally 33 U.S.C. 907, as incorporated 
by 30 U.S.C. 932(a); 83 FR 27690 (June 14, 2018). On June 14, 2018, 
OWCP published a final rule revising its regulations governing the 
payment of medical benefits by the Trust Fund. 83 FR 27690-27699. The 
revised rules adopt payment formulas that accurately reflect prevailing 
community rates for authorized treatments and services.
    While the revised regulations became effective on August 31, 2018, 
83 FR 27690, the Department set a separate applicability date for the 
rules governing payments for professional medical and outpatient 
services. Id.; see

[[Page 64198]]

also 20 CFR 725.708(c) and 725.710(d). In adopting this approach, the 
Department explained that payment of these bills ``would require 
extensive modifications to the existing computer processes for full 
implementation. The Department is currently transitioning to a new 
computer system and will realize cost-savings by building the new 
payment methodologies into that system rather than modifying the 
existing one.'' 83 FR 27691.
    The Department has been diligently working toward developing and 
deploying a new computer system to implement the new payment formulas 
but has encountered unforeseen delays. While many of the issues causing 
these delays have been resolved, OWCP cannot complete development of 
the new computer system without shifting significant resources from 
other critical workloads in time to process professional and outpatient 
bills by the current November 30, 2019 applicability date. As an 
alternative, OWCP considered, but rejected, manually processing these 
bills in the interim. Based on black lung program data from FY 2015 
through FY 2017, OWCP estimates it receives an average of approximately 
69,000 requests annually for payment of professional medical services 
alone. OWCP does not have the staff necessary to manually process this 
volume of bills. Thus, without an adequate computer system, it would be 
impractical for OWCP to timely process and pay professional and 
outpatient bills due to the volume. As a result, the Department is 
delaying the applicability date of the rules governing payment of these 
bills until April 26, 2020, the day before the new computer system is 
now scheduled to become operational.
    The Department's implementation of this action without opportunity 
for public comment, effective immediately upon publication, is based on 
the good cause exceptions in the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(B) and 553(d)(3). Section 553(b)(B) provides that an agency may 
issue a rule without notice and comment when the agency for ``good 
cause'' finds ``that notice and public procedure thereon are 
impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.'' 
Section 553(d) provides that final rules may not become effective less 
than thirty days after publication in the Federal Register ``except . . 
. as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause,'' among other 
exceptions.
    Under these standards, the Department has determined that there is 
good cause for making this rule final without notice and comment 
procedures, and effective immediately upon Federal Register 
publication. As already noted, OWCP does not have the capacity to 
manually process the volume of bills it receives for professional and 
outpatient medical services. Thus, delaying the rule's application is a 
necessity: Without the delay, OWCP would no longer be able to promptly 
pay medical professionals and hospitals who provide treatment services 
to totally disabled coal miners. That result is contrary to the 
interests of miners and medical providers alike. Delaying the rules' 
application also does not impose any additional procedural burdens on 
the treatment providers. They will continue to seek payment in the same 
manner they do now no matter when the rules become applicable. See 
generally 20 CFR 725.714 and 725.715.
    Finally, neither medical professionals nor outpatient services 
providers will be harmed economically by the delay in any significant 
way. The Department summarized its economic impact analysis of the new 
payment formulas in its notice of proposed rulemaking. 82 FR 739, 745-
765 (Jan. 4, 2017). The Department compared payments it actually made 
from the Trust Fund in FY 2014 with payments it would have made if the 
new payment formulas in the proposed (and eventually final) rules 
applied. For both medical professionals and outpatient services, total 
annual Trust Fund payments decreased, in the aggregate, under the new 
payment formulas: $8,493 for professionals and $1,719,543 for 
outpatient services. 82 FR 746-748. Thus, delaying application of the 
new payment formulas will not, in the aggregate, harm the providers of 
either professional or outpatient services.

List of Subjects in 20 CFR Part 725

    Administrative practice and procedure, Black lung benefits, Claims, 
Coal miners' entitlement to benefits, Health care, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Survivors' entitlement to benefits, Total 
disability due to pneumoconiosis, Vocational rehabilitation, Workers' 
compensation.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Department of Labor 
amends 20 CFR part 725 as follows:

PART 725--CLAIMS FOR BENEFITS UNDER PART C OF TITLE IV OF THE 
FEDERAL MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT, AS AMENDED

0
1. The authority citation for part 725 continues to read as follows:

     Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note (Federal Civil 
Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990); Pub. L. 114-74 at sec. 
701; Reorganization Plan No. 6 of 1950, 15 FR 3174; 30 U.S.C. 901 et 
seq., 902(f), 921, 932, 936; 33 U.S.C. 901 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 405; 
Secretary's Order 10-2009, 74 FR 58834.


Sec.  725.708  [Amended]

0
2. In Sec.  725.708, amend paragraph (c) by removing the date 
``November 30, 2019'' and adding in its place ``April 26, 2020''.


Sec.  725.710  [Amended]

0
3. In Sec.  725.710, amend paragraph (d) by removing the date 
``November 30, 2019'' and adding in its place ``April 26, 2020''.

Julia K. Hearthway,
Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs.
[FR Doc. 2019-25282 Filed 11-18-19; 4:15 pm]
 BILLING CODE 4510-CR-P