November 8, 2001

House Committee on Energy and Commerce Approves H.R. 3046, the Medicare Regulatory, Appeals, Contracting and Education Reform Act of 2001

On October 31, 2001, the Committee on Energy and Commerce approved by voice vote and cleared (as amended) for floor action H.R. 3046, the Medicare Regulatory and Contract Reform Act of 2001. The provisions requiring the transfer of Administrative Law Judge functions and the creation of the Medicare specialist position are similar to the provisions found in H.R. 2768, which was reported by the Committee on Ways and Means on October 11, 2001.

As reported by the Committee, H.R. 3046 includes the following provisions of interest to SSA.

Provider Appeals

Transfer of Administrative Law Judges from SSA to DHHS

  • Requires SSA and DHHS to develop a plan under which the functions of Administrative Law Judges for hearing Medicare cases will be transferred from SSA to DHHS.
  • SSA and DHHS must develop and transmit this plan to Congress and the Comptroller General by October 1, 2002. The Comptroller General must submit to Congress a report evaluating this plan by April 1, 2003. SSA and DHHS shall implement this plan no sooner than July 1, 2003, and no later than October 1, 2003.

Beneficiary Outreach Demonstration Program

Medicare Specialists

  • Requires DHHS to create a Medicare specialist position. The Medicare specialist will provide assistance and advice Medicare beneficiaries. These specialists will be located in at least six offices or areas. This demonstration project will last three years.
  • Effective upon enactment.