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Starkey Equal - July 2024

HCFA Reorganizes Under New Name

Agency Becomes 'Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services'

At a June press conference, Tommy Thompson, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, announced that the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) will now be known as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The federal agency, which runs the Medicare and joint federal-state Medicaid programs serving nearly 70 million beneficiaries, will now be restructured around three new business centers: the Center for Beneficiary Choices, the center for Medicare Management, and the Center for Medicaid and State Operations.

'We're making quality service the number one priority in this agency,' Thompson said in a press release from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 'These sweeping reforms will strengthen our programs and enable our dedicated employees to better serve Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries as well as health care providers. We're going to encourage innovation, better educate consumers about their options, and be more responsive to the health care needs of Americans.'

In addition to the new name and reorganization, CMS will launch a $35-million national media campaign this fall to better inform beneficiaries of their health care options and of resources such as the agency's 24-hour hotline (1-800-MEDICARE) and Web site ( There are also plans to reform the contractor process, improving the quality and efficiency of claims processing services.

'This is only the beginning-more changes are on the way,' Thompson said in the press release. 'We're going to keep fine-tuning this department so Americans are receiving the highest quality health care possible. Our commitment to excellence is unwavering.'

Reprinted with permission,
The ASHA Leader
July 24, 2001-Vol. 6 No. 13
Signia Xperience - July 2024

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