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CMS Small Business Administration Ombudsman

OSORA established this web page to assist small businesses and other small entities experiencing problems doing business with CMS, seeking changes in CMS regulations, or seeking grant or contract assistance from CMS.

Non-retaliation Policy

CMS policy is to encourage small businesses and other small entities to request assistance directly from CMS, or through the Office of the National Ombudsman at SBA, on any matter of concern regarding their treatment by CMS officials or contractors. CMS is committed to maintaining an environment in which small entities are free, and encouraged, to raise complaints, questions, or concerns about any CMS policies, regulations, actions, or practices. No CMS employee is allowed to take any type of retaliatory action against any entity raising a complaint, question, or concern. The Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs oversees CMS compliance with this policy. Any allegations of retaliation will be investigated and appropriate action taken to correct the situation. In addition, small entities may comment to the Office of the National Ombudsman if they have any concern about CMS responsiveness or adherence to this policy. The web site for the Office of the National Ombudsman can be accessed via the link under "Related Links Outside of CMS" at the bottom of this page. You can also reach the Office of the National Ombudsman by telephone at (202) 205-2417, by facsimile at (202) 481-5719, or by email at ombudsman@sba.gov.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

All CMS regulations are subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). The RFA requires agencies to minimize regulatory burden on small businesses and other small entities. Every proposed rule must contain either a certification that it does not impose a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities, or an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis. Resulting final rules must contain a certification or a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis. Proposed rules must, by law, allow comments from any interested party or affected entity, and CMS must respond to those comments in final rules. Any small business or other small entity is strongly encouraged to use this comment process to advise CMS on how to reduce or eliminate burdens. Each regulatory proposal contains contact information to facilitate participation by the public. Any complaints or concerns about CMS regulations can also be reported to the Office of the National Ombudsman or to the Office of Advocacy at SBA. The SBA Office of Advocacy web site can be accessed via the link under "Related Links Outside of CMS" at the bottom of this page.

Open Door Forums

CMS regularly conducts “Open Door Forums” on topics of interest to our providers, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders, including small businesses and other small entities. In 2004, we conducted over 100 of these forums. These forums provide an opportunity to obtain information, ask questions, and express your views to senior CMS officials. We are particularly interested in ideas to reduce unnecessary burden or costs. You can attend by telephone from anywhere in the United States. These forums often result in improvements in CMS policies, regulations, and practices that benefit all our stakeholders. To obtain information on these forums or to sign up for notification of future forums, access the Open Door Forum web page using the link under "Related Links Inside CMS" at the bottom of this page.

Contract Opportunities

CMS has a full-time Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Specialist (SDBUS) located in its Acquisition and Grants Group. The SDBUS is the Agency's focal point for ensuring that all reasonable action is taken to increase awards to small, small disadvantaged, HUBZones, and women-owned businesses. This Office maintains company profiles and capability statements for all types of services.

Grant Opportunities

While CMS's Program Offices are concerned with the scientific, technical, and programmatic topics, the Acquisition and Grants Group/Research Contracts and Grants Division is primarily charged with the business management and policy aspects of CMS's discretionary grant and cooperative agreement activities.

Currently, CMS conducts a myriad of R&D programs including, but not limited to, the following: Real Choice Systems Change Grants, Medicaid Infrastructure Grants, State Health Insurance Assistance Program, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic Health Initiatives.