Legislation would authorize paperless Medicare statements

Bipartisan legislation introduced on Thursday by Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) would take steps to protect Medicare beneficiaries while preventing fraud and government waste within the system.

Under Renacci’s Better Efficiency and Administrative Simplification Act, Medicare beneficiaries would receive Medicare Summary Notices electronically. The switch to paperless statements could save millions of tax dollars and help prevent fraud.

“Based on preliminary data, this commonsense legislation will save Medicare millions in program funds each year,” Renacci said. “Not only will providing beneficiaries with a paperless option save the program money, it will also help CMS combat waste, fraud and abuse – singling out those who are robbing the system, potentially resulting in even greater savings.”

Under the measure, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would be authorized to issue Medicare Summary Notices more often, and to distribute other documents via e-mail as well.

“Medicare, as we know it today, is not sustainable and earlier this year we learned that Medicare loses $50 billion annually to improper payments,” Renacci said. “It is critical that we maintain a strong and viable safety net for America’s seniors to protect their health and well-being. Congress must act now to strengthen the Medicare program and protect it for current and future beneficiaries. This legislation will do just that by bringing the program into the 21st century. I hope that my friends on both sides of the aisle will support it.”

The bill would also give CMS more authority to enact longer contracts with Medicare Administrative Contractors (MAC) to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the contracts.