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A Conversation with the CMS Administrator & Deputy Administrator 

Friday, April 30, 2004
AHLA began its two part Spring 2004 Conversations with Policymakers teleconference series with A Conversation with the CMS Administrator and Deputy Administrator, held April 30, 2004. The speakers were Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., Administrator of the Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); and Leslie V. Norwalk, Acting Deputy CMS Administrator. Dennis M. Barry, partner, Vinson & Elkins, LLP, Washington, DC, moderated the one-hour teleconference. Mr. Barry engaged Dr. McClellan and Ms. Norwalk in a discussion of CMS' major regulatory initiatives, which include:

  • Implementing the many changes embodied in the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. A key CMS initiative is preparation for the June 1, 2004, start-up of a prescription drug discount card program for all Medicare beneficiaries who do not have prescription drug coverage through Medicaid. The cards could offer savings of about 10% to 25% on beneficiaries' prescription drug costs until the new prescription drug benefit takes effect in 2006. CMS has suggested that beneficiaries take time to carefully examine the many cards that are being offered by private firms and that seniors delay enrolling to see whether drug prices offered under in the program fall in coming weeks.
  • Publishing regulations governing long term care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation services, and payments to hospitals under Medicare's prospective payment system;
  • In conjunction with DHHS' Office of the Inspector General, hosting of an "open door session" on how healthcare organizations may legally offer discounts from billed charges to the uninsured; and
  • Taking leadership in improving public health through payments systems that link payments to improvements in healthcare quality and encouraging widespread implementation of healthcare information systems.

The teleconference concluded with a question-and-answer session with registrants. More than 230 sites registered for the teleconference, with most sites accommodating several listeners.

Download audio recording (MP3 file, 1 hour 2 minutes, 21 megabytes)
Speakers' Biographies

No additional materials were submitted for this teleconference

The Spring 2004 Conversations with Policymakers teleconference series was made possible through the generous support of six health law organizations. Health Lawyers sincerely appreciates the support of the following sponsors:
Duane Morris LLP
Epstein Becker & Green PC
Holland & Knight LLP
King & Spalding LLP
Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC
Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP

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