S PLAN TO STRENGTHEN AND MODERNIZE MEDICARE
5. Improving Medicare Management, Including Public/Private Advisory Boards
Overview: The President' s plan includes a major modernization reform of the management of the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) which oversees Medicare. These proposals, which are included in the President' s FY 2000 budget along with others such as reforming the regional and central office relationships, are designed to better integrate private sector experiences and practices into the Medicare program. These efforts will also allow HCFA to better and more efficiently manage its increasing workload while improving the already high level of service and quality of care for our beneficiaries.
a. Increasing accountability through public/private advisory boards
Policy: HCFA will improve its services and increase its accountability. It plans to establish three key private/public advisory panels to help in this effort.
b. Increasing personnel flexibility
Policy: HCFA has made new and significant strides in hiring highly qualified professionals with private sector backgrounds. However, HCFA needs greater personnel flexibility to have the right staff to stay on top of changes in the rapidly evolving health care marketplace, to increase its purchasing expertise, and to hold staff accountable for results. HCFA has contracted with independent experts to evaluate staffing needs and how well HCFA staff currently meets those needs. Their findings will help determine exactly what legislative or other changes are needed to make sure the right people are in the right places to ensure beneficiaries have access to high quality health care services.