Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 114 Part 5.djvu/581

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PUBLIC LAW 106-554—APPENDIX F 114 STAT. 2763A-541 records maintained under this paragraph for the previous year. " (J) HEARINGS BY THE SECRETARY. —The quaUfied independent contractor shall (i) prepare such information as is required for an appeal of a decision of the contractor with respect to a reconsideration to the Secretary for a hearing, including as necessary, explanations of issues involved in the decision and relevant policies, and (ii) participate in such hearings as required by the Secretary. " (4) NUMBER OF QUALIFIED INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS. — The Secretary shall enter into contracts with not fewer than 12 qualified independent contractors under this subsection. " (5) LIMITATION ON QUALIFIED INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR LIABILITY. — No qualified independent contractor having a contract with the Secretary xuider this subsection and no person who is employed by, or who has a fiduciary relationship with, any such qualified independent contractor or who furnishes professional services to such qualified independent contractor, shall be held by reason of the performance of any duty, function, or activity required or authorized pursuant to this subsection or to a valid contract entered into under this subsection, to have violated any criminal law, or to be civilly liable under any law of the United States or of any State (or political subdivision thereof) provided due care was exercised in the performance of such duty, function, or activity. " (d) DEADLINES FOR HEARINGS BY THE SECRETARY.— " (1) HEARING BY ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE.— "(A) IN GENERAL. —Except as provided in subparagraph (B), an administrative law judge shall conduct and conclude a hearing on a decision of a qualified independent contractor under subsection (c) and render a decision on such hearing by not later than the end of the 90-day period beginning on the date a request for hearing has been timely filed. " (B) WAIVER OF DEADLINE BY PARTY SEEKING HEAR- ING.— TT ie 90-day period under subparagraph (A) shall not apply in the case of a motion or stipulation by the party requesting the hearing to waive such period. " (2) DEPARTMENTAL APPEALS BOARD REVIEW.— "(A) IN GENERAL.— The Departmental Appeals Board of the Department of Health and Humgin Services shall conduct and conclude a review of the decision on a hearing described in paragraph (1) and make a decision or remand the case to the administrative law judge for reconsideration by not later than the end of the 90-day period beginning on the date a request for review has been timely filed. "(B) DAB HEARING PROCEDURE.—In reviewing a decision on a hearing under this paragraph, the Departmental Appeals Board shall review the case de novo. " (3) CONSEQUENCES OF FAILURE TO MEET DEADLINES.— " (A) HEARING BY ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE. —In the case of a failure by an administrative law judge to render a decision by the end of the period described in paragraph (1), the party requesting the hearing may request a review by the Departmental Appeals Board of the Department of Health and Human Services, notwithstanding any