Date: April 7, 2003
House Committee on Ways and Means Approves H.R 810, the Medicare Regulatory and Contracting Reform Act of 2003
On April 2, 2003, the Committee on Ways and Means approved and cleared for floor action, H.R. 810, the Medicare Regulatory and Contracting Reform Act of 2003. The approved language is similar to that which was cleared by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on March 26, 2003.
As reported by the Ways and Means Committee, H.R. 810 includes the following provisions of interest to SSA.
Transfer of Responsibility for Medicare Appeals
- Requires SSA and HHS to develop a plan under which the functions of Administrative Law Judges for hearing Medicare cases would be transferred from SSA to HHS. Authorizes HHS to hire Administrative Law Judges to hear these cases and to hire support staff for these judges. Requires HHS to enter into agreements with SSA as appropriate to share office space, support staff, and other resources with respect to the transferred functions of Administrative Law Judges, with appropriate reimbursement from the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund.
- SSA and HHS must develop and transmit this plan to Congress and the Comptroller General by October 1, 2004. The Comptroller General must submit to Congress a report evaluating this plan no later than six months after the date on which the plan is received. SSA and HHS shall implement this plan no sooner than July 1, 2005, and no later than October 1, 2005.
Beneficiary Outreach Demonstration Program
- Would establish a demonstration program under which Medicare specialists employed by HHS would provide advice and assistance to beneficiaries regarding the Medicare program in at least six offices (two or more serving rural areas) of the Social Security Administration. This demonstration project would last three years.