But a technical glitch caused major confusion when the website put up a landing page Thursday morning that said it was closing because of the nearly monthlong government shutdown. The landing page has since been changed to say the temporary closure is due to technical difficulties.
Regulations.gov is the online portal that the public can use to submit a comment, although there is also a form on FederalRegister.gov for comments, which are then sent to Regulations.gov.
Federalregister.gov, which lists new regulations, remains in operation due to the shutdown although the website says that the site is not being supported.
The inadvertent landing page notice caused major confusion, with some in the healthcare industry wondering if federal agencies will push back deadlines for new regulations.
There are some major rules before the CMS that have comment periods ending, chiefly a rule outlining changes to Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D aimed at lowering drug prices. The comment period for the rule ends Jan. 25.
While the CMS and HHS are funded via a separate appropriations bill and are still in operation, other agencies are cutting back on services because of the shutdown. Chief among them is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is using carryover funding from drug user fees to continue to review existing drug applications and has recalled 400 staff to continue vital safety inspections.