Wednesday, June 15, 2011

IRS Requests Comments On Funding Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute

Notice 2011-35, 2011-25 IRB

In a Notice, IRS has requested comments regarding the fees under the Affordable Care Act to fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. IRS specifically requested comments regarding how the fees to fund the institute should be calculated and what the fees will apply to.

Background. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Institute (Institute) was established under the Affordable Care Act (the Act) to assist patients, clinicians, purchasers, and policy-makers in making informed health decisions by advancing comparative clinical effectiveness research. Under Code Sec. 9511, added by Sec. 6301 of the Act, the Institute is to be funded by a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund (Trust Fund), which in turn is to be funded in part by fees to be paid by issuers of health insurance policies and sponsors of self-insured health plans.

Sec. 6301 of the Act also added new Code Sec. 4375, Code Sec. 4376, and Code Sec. 4377 to impose those fees on what the statute refers to as “specified health insurance policies” and “applicable self-insured health plans” based on the average number of lives covered under the policy or plan. The fees are effective for policy and plan years ending after Sept. 30, 2012.

Comments sought. The Treasury and IRS anticipate proposing regs under Code Sec. 4375 and Code Sec. 4376. In anticipation of these proposed regs, comments are sought on a number of issues relating to the Institute and its funding.

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