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Knowledge is power

By Kelly Byrnes, FSVU, RVT, BS posted Tue January 17, 2017 08:15:26 AM


One powerful source of knowledge is the internet. As I have learned about reimbursement, I have found some websites particularly helpful. I will spend time covering these over the next several posts. Check them out!


The first site I want to share is for the Federal Register. The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents. It is updated daily by 6 a.m. and is published Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.


As the Chair of the SVU Advocacy committee, I monitor this site daily. I have also signed up (subscribed) to receive updates from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This helps me track changes in rules and regulations of interest to the vascular profession. Sometimes, SVU provides comments on proposed and final rules, particularly those related to Medicare reimbursement.

Federal Register

There are links in the Federal Register to different regulatory agencies, such as CMS.

Federal Register 2

In my next post, I will look at a website used to find, review and submit comments on Federal rules that are open for comment and published in the Federal Register.


To learn more about the Federal Register, read on. Or, you can go to the National Archives and take the tutorial:


Why was the Federal Register system established ?

  • New Deal legislation of the 1930's delegated responsibility from Congress to agencies to regulate complex social and economic issues
  • Citizens needed access to new regulations to know their effect in advance
  • Agencies and Citizens needed a centralized filing and publication system to keep track of rules
  • Courts began to rule on "secret law" as a violation of right to due process under the Constitution
  • Must state the legal basis and purpose of their actions


What is the Federal Regulatory Process ?

  • Legal structure established by the combined requirements of:
  • The Federal Register Act
  • The Administrative Procedure Act (APA)
  • Many individual laws, such as those affecting health, safety, commerce and the environment
  • Federal agencies use the regulatory process to issue and enforce legally effective regulations


What is the Federal Register Act ?

Enacted: July 26, 1935 

The Federal Register Act established the basic legal structure of the regulatory system:

  • Central location for filing documents for public inspection
  • The daily Federal Register -- a single, uniform publication for Executive agency rules and notices and Presidential documents
  • The Code of Federal Regulations -- a codification (numerical arrangement) of rules (added in 1937)


What is the Effect of Publishing in the Federal Register ?

  • Provides official notice of a document's existence, its contents and legal effect
  • Indicates date of issuance and the effective date of actions
  • Specifies the legal authority of the agency
  • Delegation of authority from Congress
  • Gives documents evidentiary status
    • Makes them admissible in court
  • Establishes FR text as true copy of original signed document
  • Shows how and when the CFR will be amended


What is the Administrative Procedure Act ?

Enacted: June 11, 1946 

Added procedural requirements to ensure:

  • Due process (fairness).


  • Rules can't be enforced if not published in Federal Register
  • Rules can't be effective until 30 days after publication
  • Must publish statements of organization and procedure for the "who and how" to contact at the agency
  • public participation (notice and comment rulemaking).


  • Must give notice of proposed rules
  • Must take public comments and respond in final rule
  • Must state the legal basis and purpose of their actions

    Federal Register 3Federal Register 4