Thursday, March 3, 2011

Will the new Budget Leave CMS in Trouble?

The national deficit is spiraling out of control; this is common knowledge. However, with the President’s delivery of his new budget, much conversation has surrounded his potential cuts and investments. Because much, if not all, of the low hanging fruit has been picked, the choices surrounding reducing the deficit are enormously tough now.

In reviewing the high level line items from the House Appropriation Committee's 2011 CR Reductions, I quickly scrolled to CMS’s budget (page 14) to peruse how our friends made out in the budget decision making process. With a net budget change of $25.9 million, CMS did well compared to other agencies within the Federal Government's domain.  However, the change only comes in only two categories: Health Reform-Affordable Care Act (full on-boarding) and Research, Demonstration and Evaluation.  Other areas such as Medicare Contract Reform remain neutral.

One interesting side note is all Earmarks have been removed from CMS’s budget and overall throughout the budget in totality. Is this a means for the Executive branch to fully implement health reform legislation with little interference or is Congress self governing with disclosure of names and family ties with companies on earmarked monies? I suggest time will tell and it most likely is a combination of the two.


Pam Argeris is a thought leader in the Healthcare Industry and possesses extensive, hands-on experience with CMS compliance, and multiple regulatory bodies such as NCQA, JACHO, and DOI. In her role at Merrill Corp., Pam focuses on developing solutions for compliance and quality assurance, delivered in a cost effective manner to improve beneficiary and prospect communications. You can contact Pam at

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