[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 89 (Tuesday, May 8, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 27009-27010]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-11035]


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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Part 4

RIN 2900-AN12


Schedule for Rating Disabilities; The Digestive System; 
Withdrawal

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Proposed rule; withdrawal.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hereby withdraws a 
proposed rule published in the Federal Register on July 5, 2011, that 
was intended to amend the Schedule for Rating Disabilities; The 
Digestive System. VA has determined, after conducting extensive medical 
research, the existence of new medical advances that more accurately 
and comprehensively address the current medical criteria, terminology, 
and science related to the digestive system. Therefore, the proposed 
rule is in part based upon outdated and partially incomplete or 
irrelevant information.

DATES: The proposed rule, published on July 5, 2011, at 76 FR 39160 is 
withdrawn as of May 8, 2012.

ADDRESSES: The docket for this withdrawn rulemaking is available for 
public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, 
Room 1063B, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday 
through Friday (except Federal holidays). Please call (202) 461-4902 
for an appointment. (This is not a toll-free number). In addition, this 
docket may be viewed online through the Federal Docket Management 
System at www.Regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah W. Fusina, Regulations Staff 
(211D), Compensation and Pension Service, Veterans Benefits 
Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-9700. (This is not a toll-free number.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On May 2, 1991, VA published an advance 
notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (56 FR 20168), 
notifying the public of VA's intent to revise and update the Schedule 
for Rating Disabilities (VASRD) that addresses the digestive system. A 
proposed rule, titled Schedule for Rating Disabilities; The Digestive 
System, was published in the Federal Register on July 5, 2011 (76 FR 
39160), with the purpose of eliminating ambiguities in the prior 
Schedule for Rating Disabilities by including medical conditions 
missing from the current rating schedule and implementing current 
medical criteria and terminology that reflect recent medical advances. 
Since that time, however, VA has continued to conduct a comprehensive 
review of the VASRD that pertains to the digestive system, to include 
review by senior gastroenterologists and academicians from leading VA 
and non-VA medical centers. The current review of the Digestive System 
portion of the VASRD is in an advanced stage and nearing conclusion.
    VA's ongoing review has identified several aspects of the proposed 
rule that can be revised and improved to better reflect the numerous 
modern advances in the field of gastroenterology that have greatly 
altered the landscape of treatment, diagnosis, and effect of diseases 
associated with the digestive system. The chapters on hepatic and 
gallbladder diseases must be updated to reflect such developments. For 
example, the schedule must reflect contemporary

[[Page 27010]]

understandings and management of such common conditions as inflammatory 
bowel disease and peptic ulcer disease, and recognize the relationship 
of irritable bowel syndrome to bacterial, viral, or parasitic disease. 
Furthermore, advancements in medicine and science have developed modern 
scoring and evaluation techniques to assess the level of severity of 
gastroenterological conditions, including cirrhosis and, in particular, 
rectum and anal impairment of sphincter control.
    VA has determined that the proposed revision of the VASRD 
provisions concerning the Digestive System should take account of the 
information and considerations identified through VA's ongoing review 
of that system. Accordingly, VA is withdrawing the proposed rule 
published on July 5, 2011. VA will issue a new proposed rule to address 
revisions to the VASRD for the Digestive System and provide the 
opportunity for comment on the new rulemaking through the Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking process.
    For these reasons, VA hereby withdraws proposed rule RIN 2900-AN12.

Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this 
document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document 
to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as 
an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. John R. 
Gingrich, Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this 
document on April 24, 2012, for publication.

    Dated: May 3, 2012.
Robert C. McFetridge,
Director of Regulation Policy and Management, Office of the General 
Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2012-11035 Filed 5-7-12; 8:45 am]
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