CMS has designated Third Party Administrators as Responsible Reporting Entities (RREs)

According to the Society of Benefit Administrators, "TPAs have a relationship with their clients much like that of their sister professions CPA and law firms. ...the relationship resembles that between an employer or plan and their independent CPA firm or outside law firm with retainer

CMS could perhaps simplify the question of Responsible Reporting Entity by assigning it to the applicable plan.  The plan's sponsor or Board of Trustees can contract with other entities (TPA, ISO or Agent) to meet the requirements.

Partial Resolution...

CMS is locked into the GHP reporting requirements of 1395y(7)(A)  "...an entity serving as an insurer or third party administrator..."  Although CMS has not issued any written guidance, CMS has made it clear during subsequent teleconferences that the Insurer, not the TPA, is responsible for reporting, but may use a TPA as a vehicle for reporting -- editor

In response to our article and contact with CMS, CMS has clarified the role of the TPA in reporting NGHP as follows:

"Third party administrators (TPAs) as defined by CMS for purposes for 42 U.S.C. 1395y(b)(7) & (8) are never RREs for purposes of 42 U.S.C. 1395y(b)(8) [liability (including self-insurance), no-fault, and workers’ compensation reporting] and only act as agents for such reporting. The RRE is limited to the “applicable plan” and may not by contract or otherwise limit its reporting responsibility although it may contract with a TPA or other entity for actual file submissions for reporting purposes. The applicable plan must either report directly or contract with the TPA or some other entity to submit data as its agent. (Where an RRE uses another entity for claims processing or other purposes, it may wish to consider contracting with that entity as its agent for reporting purposes)."

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