Forum Session

Great Expectations: Managing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
May 1, 2009


Laura A. Dummit


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administers programs that ensure health care for millions of Americans. This entails paying for services provided to Medicare beneficiaries, overseeing state Medicaid programs and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), providing information to beneficiaries and providers, inspecting health care facilities for compliance with quality and safety requirements, testing and refining payment approaches that are adopted by many payers, ensuring the accuracy of laboratory testing, developing and publishing data on national health care spending, and safeguarding public funds by preventing fraud and abuse. By most accounts, these responsibilities are likely to grow as the country pursues health care reform. In this Forum session, two highly respected former administrators of the agency, Gail Wilensky and Bruce Vladeck, discussed the range of activities under CMS's purview, the resources available to the agency to fulfill its responsibilities, and whether those resources will be adequate to meet current and future expectations.


Gail R. Wilensky, PhD, Senior Fellow, Center for Health Affairs, Project HOPE; Bruce C. Vladeck, PhD, Senior Health Policy Advisor, Ernst & Young, LLP

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