[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 50 (Friday, March 14, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 14400-14401]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-05691]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Part 1

RIN 2900-AO45


Disclosures to Participate in State Prescription Drug Monitoring 
Programs

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: This document adopts as final, without change, an interim 
final rule published in the Federal Register that amended the 
Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) regulations concerning the sharing 
of certain patient information in order to implement VA's authority to 
participate in State Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP).

DATES: This rule is effective on March 14, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephania Griffin, Director, 
Information Access and Privacy Office (10P2C1), Veterans Health 
Administration, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., 20420, 704-245-2492. (This is 
not a toll-free number.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On February 11, 2013, VA published in the 
Federal Register (78 FR 9589) an interim final rule promulgating 38 CFR 
1.483 and 1.515, regulations to implement certain provisions of 38 
U.S.C. 5701 and 7332. The interim final rule authorized VA to disclose 
certain types of information about veterans to PDMPs. The types of 
information that VA is authorized to disclose to PDMPs include 
demographic information of veterans and dependents of veterans who are 
prescribed a controlled substance, information about the prescribed 
controlled substances, and prescriber information. Interested persons 
were invited to submit comments on or before April 12, 2013, and we 
received 2 comments. Both comments expressed support for the interim 
final rule and do not recommend any changes to the rule. One commenter 
suggested that VA focus on the states with a high veteran population 
and work with the Office of National Drug Control Policy. We appreciate 
the commenter's suggestion. VA will take this suggestion into 
consideration. Based on the rationale set forth in the interim final 
rule, we adopt the interim final rule as a final rule without change.

Effect of Rulemaking

    Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as revised by this 
final rulemaking, represents VA's implementation of its legal authority 
on this subject. Other than future amendments to this regulation or 
governing statutes, no contrary guidance or procedures are authorized. 
All existing or subsequent VA guidance must be read to conform with 
this rulemaking if possible or, if not possible, such guidance is 
superseded by this rulemaking.

Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 
1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and 
benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by 
State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for 
inflation) in any one year. This final rule will have no such effect on 
State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule contains no provisions constituting a collection of 
information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-
3521).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that this regulatory action will not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 
U.S.C. 601-12. This regulatory action affects only individuals and will 
not affect any small entities. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), 
this rulemaking is exempt from the initial and final flexibility 
analysis requirements of sections 603 and 604.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; 
and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory 
Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. 
Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) defines a 
``significant regulatory action,'' which requires review by the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB), as ``any regulatory action that is 
likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the 
economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way 
the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, 
the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal 
governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or 
otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; 
(3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user 
fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the

[[Page 14401]]

President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive 
Order.''
    The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy 
implications of this regulatory action have been examined, and it has 
been determined not to be a significant regulatory action under 
Executive Order 12866. VA's impact analysis can be found as a 
supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 
hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy 
of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's Web 
site at http://www1.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for ``VA 
Regulations Published.''

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance numbers and titles for 
this rule are 64.012 Veterans Prescription Service and 64.019 Veterans 
Rehabilitation--Alcohol and Drug Dependence.

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. Jose D. 
Riojas, Chief of Staff, Department of Veteran Affairs, approved this 
document on February 27, 2014, for publication.

List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 1

    Administrative practice and procedure, Archives and records, 
Cemeteries, Claims, Courts, Crime, Flags, Freedom of information, 
Government contracts, Government employees, Government property, 
Infants and children, Inventions and patents, Parking, Penalties, 
Privacy, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Seals and insignia, 
Security measures, Wages.

    Accordingly, the interim final rule amending 38 CFR part 1, which 
was published on February 11, 2013, at 78 FR 9589, is adopted as a 
final rule without change.

    Dated: March 11, 2014
William F. Russo,
Deputy Director, Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Office of 
the General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2014-05691 Filed 3-13-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8320-01-P