Medicare Transition System

HEHS-94-143R: Published: Apr 20, 1994. Publicly Released: Apr 20, 1994.

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GAO reviewed the Health Care Financing Administration's (HCFA) plans to incorporate health care reform changes into the Medicare Transaction System (MTS), focusing on: (1) how the major health reform plans would affect the Medicare program; and (2) HCFA efforts to ensure the incorporation of health care reform provisions into MTS. GAO noted that: (1) except for the single-payer plan and the Stark amendment, pending legislation is not expected to radically change Medicare; (2) HCFA officials believe that MTS can accommodate the changes proposed by the Administration's health care reform plan, as well as those proposed by most other plans; (3) it is important that HCFA continuously monitor health care reform developments and periodically assess how changes would affect MTS capabilities; (4) HCFA recently established a group to identify how the reform plans under consideration by Congress would affect Medicare and to provide this information to MTS project personnel; and (5) although the MTS contract also provides that the MTS design be flexible enough to incorporate health care reform changes, the timing of reform could significantly affect whether HCFA can efficiently incorporate any needed changes into MTS.

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