(a) CMS may request expert advice from qualified sources if CMS believes that the advice is necessary to respond to a request for an advisory opinion. For example, CMS may require the use of accountants or business experts to assess the structure of a complex business arrangement or to ascertain a physician's or immediate family member's financial relationship with entities that provide designated health services.
(b) If CMS determines that it needs to obtain expert advice in order to issue a requested advisory opinion, CMS notifies the requestor of that fact and provides the identity of the appropriate expert and an estimate of the costs of the expert advice. As indicated in § 411.375(d), the requestor must pay the estimated cost of the expert advice.
(c) Once CMS has received payment for the estimated cost of the expert advice, CMS arranges for the expert to provide a prompt review of the issue or issues in question. CMS considers any additional expenses for the expert advice, beyond the estimated amount, as part of the costs CMS has incurred in responding to the request, and the responsibility of the requestor, as described in § 411.375(c).
[69 FR 57229, Sept. 24, 2004]