42 USC 1395b9 - Provisions relating to administration

(a) Coordinated administration of medicare prescription drug and Medicare Advantage programs 

(1) In general 
There is within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services a center to carry out the duties described in paragraph (3).
(2) Director 
Such center shall be headed by a director who shall report directly to the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
(3) Duties 
The duties described in this paragraph are the following:

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(A) The administration of parts C and D of this subchapter.
(B) The provision of notice and information under section 1395b–2 of this title.
(C) Such other duties as the Secretary may specify.
(4) Deadline 
The Secretary shall ensure that the center is carrying out the duties described in paragraph (3) by not later than January 1, 2008.
(b) Employment of management staff 

(1) In general 
The Secretary may employ, within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, such individuals as management staff as the Secretary determines to be appropriate. With respect to the administration of parts C and D of this subchapter, such individuals shall include individuals with private sector expertise in negotiations with health benefits plans.
(2) Eligibility 
To be eligible for employment under paragraph (1) an individual shall be required to have demonstrated, by their education and experience (either in the public or private sector), superior expertise in at least one of the following areas:
(A) The review, negotiation, and administration of health care contracts.
(B) The design of health care benefit plans.
(C) Actuarial sciences.

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(D) Compliance with health plan contracts.
(E) Consumer education and decision making.
(F) Any other area specified by the Secretary that requires specialized management or other expertise.
(3) Rates of payment 

(A) Performance-related pay 
Subject to subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall establish the rate of pay for an individual employed under paragraph (1). Such rate shall take into account expertise, experience, and performance.
(B) Limitation 
In no case may the rate of compensation determined under subparagraph (A) exceed the highest rate of basic pay for the Senior Executive Service under section 5382 (b) of title 5.
(c) Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman 

(1) In general 
The Secretary shall appoint within the Department of Health and Human Services a Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman who shall have expertise and experience in the fields of health care and education of (and assistance to) individuals entitled to benefits under this subchapter.
(2) Duties 
The Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman shall
(A) receive complaints, grievances, and requests for information submitted by individuals entitled to benefits under part A of this subchapter or enrolled under part B of this subchapter, or both, with respect to any aspect of the medicare program;
(B) provide assistance with respect to complaints, grievances, and requests referred to in subparagraph (A), including
(i) assistance in collecting relevant information for such individuals, to seek an appeal of a decision or determination made by a fiscal intermediary, carrier, MA organization, or the Secretary;
(ii) assistance to such individuals with any problems arising from disenrollment from an MA plan under part C of this subchapter; and
(iii) assistance to such individuals in presenting information under section 1395r (i)(4)(C) of this title (relating to income-related premium adjustment;[1] and
(C) submit annual reports to Congress and the Secretary that describe the activities of the Office and that include such recommendations for improvement in the administration of this subchapter as the Ombudsman determines appropriate.

The Ombudsman shall not serve as an advocate for any increases in payments or new coverage of services, but may identify issues and problems in payment or coverage policies.

(3) Working with health insurance counseling programs 
To the extent possible, the Ombudsman shall work with health insurance counseling programs (receiving funding under section 1395b–4 of this title) to facilitate the provision of information to individuals entitled to benefits under part A of this subchapter or enrolled under part B of this subchapter, or both regarding MA plans and changes to those plans. Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude further collaboration between the Ombudsman and such programs.
[1] So in original. A closing parenthesis probably should precede the semicolon.