The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administers the Medicare program, providing health care security and choice for aged and disabled people in this country. Jointly with the State governments, CMS administers the Medicaid program and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). CMS is the largest purchaser of health care in the United States — our programs account for more than one third of the dollars spent on health care in the U.S. economy. In 2001, CMS programs provided health care coverage for 70 million people — nearly one out of every four Americans.
In administering the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP, CMS activities are performed with one thing in mind: a commitment to the people who rely upon our programs for access to and quality of the health care they need. CMS' mission, though complex in execution, is simply stated: We assure health care security for beneficiaries. And our vision is no less ambitious: In the stewardship of our programs, we lead the Nation's health care system toward improved health for all.
CMS could not accomplish its mission by working alone. We work in partnership with many other organizations and individuals: other Federal and State agencies, and Territorial and Tribal governments; private-sector contractors; health plans, practitioners, and health care facilities; professional organizations, academia, and advocacy groups; and beneficiaries and their families.