Name change among reforms sought for Medicare agency

The Bush administration plans to unveil a major package of Health Care Financing Administration reforms--including a name change and a new attitude--in the next few weeks, the agency's new administrator said Monday. HCFA Administrator Thomas Scully said he and Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson are working closely on the plan. Scully said some of the ideas "may shake up the world, but I think that's what HCFA needs." Speaking to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce briefing, Scully said a name change was needed to reflect a new way of doing business. He suggested HCFA could become known as MMA, or the Medicare and Medicaid Administration, but would most likely not be known as MAMA--an acronym Thompson floated earlier this year. In fact, Scully sent out a letter asking for new name suggestions to some HCFA employees last week. Another potential change for HCFA is to increase the education of seniors about Medicare, particularly the Medicare+Choice plans run largely by managed care organizations that provide the prescription drugs the regular Medicare program does not. This could include advertising and making more accessible information about providers already on HCFA's Web site. "My goal is to ensure 30 percent [of Medicare recipients] are enrolled in Medicare+Choice by 2005," Scully told reporters. Scully also suggested that Medicaid probably would not be removed from HCFA, and that reforms in that area will be dealt with when the Welfare to Work bill comes up for reauthorization. Other priorities for the administration will be to pass HCFA reforms with a prescription drug benefit, said Sally Canfield, counselor to the HHS secretary, who also spoke at the Chamber briefing. "We can't let this Congress go without giving it a try," she said, acknowledging that challenges will arise once the Democrats gain control of the Senate this week. Canfield also said the administration is eager to pass tax credits to help the uninsured and keep patients' rights legislation from focusing unnecessarily on litigation. It is also looking to more cooperative agreements with the industry to advance research and development.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.