The federal government has published 2 mammoth sets of regulations that will help implement the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003.[@@]
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services prepared the regulations, which spread out over more than 2,000 pages of paper and take up more than 4 megabytes of computer storage space.
One set of regulations is supposed to implement the MMA Medicare prescription drug provisions.
Another set applies to the MMA section that updates the Medicare managed care program. Through the Medicare Advantage program, the federal government now will encourage regional preferred provider organizations to offer PPO coverage to all Medicare beneficiaries. In the past, Medicare officials focused on encouraging health maintenance organizations to participate in the Medicare program.
The regulation also implements MMA provisions that would let insurers offer cheaper Medicare supplement coverage options.
The CMS already has posted drafts of the regulations on its Web site. Public comments are due Oct. 4.