Rep. Johnson, Rep. Stark seeks Medicare changes
Two key members of Congress sent Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson 17 pages of suggested changes for HCFA. There is no reason to delay sensible changes which will make Medicare more responsible to beneficiaries and providers who serve them, if they can be implemented immediately, said Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.), chair of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee, and Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.). Among changes recommended are for HCFA to make regulatory changes no more frequently than every six months, and to establish a "direct point of accountability" to address regional inconsistencies in the interpretation of Medicare policies. They also recommended HCFA provide more outreach and training to providers, and to create less burdensome methods of cost reporting.