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.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

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

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


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