MARC Coalition Applauds Bipartisan Senate Letter to CMS Urging Prompt Implementation of the Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers (SMART) Act
WASHINGTON, July 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Medicare Advocacy Recovery Coalition (MARC) applauds the United States Senate for its bi-partisan letter to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), urging the Agency to implement promptly the Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers (SMART) Act, signed into law on January 10, 2013. Under the legislation, CMS by October 2013 was to have implemented an electronic “portal” for the exchange of final conditional payment information, and was by July 10, 2014 to have eliminated the use of full Social Security numbers in the MSP Reporting process. Seven Senators, led by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), urged the Agency to promptly and swiftly implement the changes required by the law.
In their letter, the seven Senators noted: “The Medicare Secondary Payer program is an important tool to ensure the ongoing health of the Medicare Trust Fund today and for generations to come. We all share an interest in making sure that the MSP program is efficient, functional, and cost-effective. We urge CMS to adhere to the statutory requirements of the SMART Act and issue the necessary regulatory guidance to enable regulated entities and beneficiaries to comply with the statutory changes and ensure taxpayer dollars are protected.” Joining Senator Portman were Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Robert Casey (D-PA), and Roy Blunt (R-MO).
We are grateful to the Senate for calling upon CMS to implement the law” said Michele Adams, Chair of the MARC Coalition. “Congress last year adopted sensible fixes to a program that was hurting seniors and short-changing the Medicare Trust Fund. We appreciate Senator Portman’s efforts to draw attention to this important issue, and to urge Medicare to promptly implement the provisions of the law. “Quick SMART Act implementation will streamline the Medicare process for tens of thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, will restore millions to the Medicare Trust Fund faster, and will ease resolving claims for thousands of companies, large and small, across the country," said Greg McKenna, MARC Vice-chair. “We thank Senator Portman for his leadership on being a lead sponsor of the bill in the Senate during the last Congress, and on keeping a focus on the issue during implementation over the past eighteen months,” he stated.