The Senate version of the Strengthening Medicare And Repaying Taxpayers (SMART) Act of 2011 was introduced in the U.S. Senate, as S. 1718, on October 17, 2011. Sponsored by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rob Portman (R-OH), Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Richard Burr (R-NC), the SMART Act now has bi-partisan support from both the Senate and the House. The House version of the SMART Act was introduced, as H.R. 1063 on March 11, 2011.
The Medicare Advocacy Recovery Coalition (MARC), the main driving force behind this legislation, states that the purpose of the bill is to “significantly improve the efficiency of the current Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) system and speed repayment of amounts owed from Medicare beneficiary claims directly to the Medicare Trust Fund”.
Whether the SMART Act will be passed or not is anybody’s guess. It does have considerable and broad support in Congress and industry. However, Congress does seem to have its hands full with a few other pressing matters. One thing is for certain: The MSP program needs improving. The SMART Act, recent congressional hearings, the GAO’s involvement, and recent CMS improvements are all moving us in the right direction.
We will keep you informed as new developments arise.