HHS Strategic Goals and Objectives - FY 2001 . Objective 3.4 - Protect and Improve the Health and Satisfaction of Beneficiaries in Medicare and Medicaid


How We Will Accomplish Our Objective

We will promote the use of Softball friendspreventive services for our beneficiaries. Our efforts will focus on:

  • launching a two year, nationwide education campaign (beginning in 2001) to promote the use of preventive health services by older Americans and people with disabilities.
  • implementing strategies, based on research findings, to increase the utilization of clinical prevention and screening services; for example, implementing quality improvement projects to increase the rate of influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations, mammography screening, and retinal eye exams for diabetics.

We will educate our beneficiaries on how to seek high-quality, cost-effective health care. Our focus will be on:

  • developing improved tools for measuring health plan and provider health care quality.

3.4 Implementation Strategies
  • Preventive Services
  • Beneficiary Education
  • Quality Oversight
  • Improving Services
  • developing and providing information that is consistent, accurate, understandable, convenient and accessible; able to assist beneficiaries in communicating with their health care providers and making informed choices among alternatives for supplemental insurance coverage, health plans and providers, treatment options, and healthy behaviors; and produced in a variety of formats that are culturally competent and recognize the needs of the diverse populations we serve.

  • providing information on health plan options to beneficiaries through multiple channels, including print, Internet, toll-free telephone service, in-person counseling, and health fairs. We will improve our Medicare services by:

We will improve our Medicare services by:

  • making decisions about service coverage on the basis of the best evidence available on the quality and effectiveness of the service.

  • assessing and understanding the health care and benefit needs of beneficiaries through focus groups, surveys, and questionnaires.

  • providing choices to Medicare beneficiaries similar to those available through other purchasers of health care.

  • educating Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers to help them make sound health care decisions.

  • modernizing Medicare benefits by pursuing enactment of a voluntary Medicare prescription drug benefit and the elimination of cost sharing for preventive services.

  • developing the capacity of our staff and service delivery partners to continuously improve consumer service to beneficiaries.
  • supporting projects by Medicare Peer Review Organizations (PROs) to increase the number of beneficiaries who receive the most optimal care available in the clinical priority areas, including acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, pneumonia, stroke/transient ischemic attack/atrial fibrillation, diabetes, and breast cancer.

  • using Health Outcomes Survey data to target improvements in care of Medicare beneficiaries.
  • testing flexible delivery, payment, and coverage approaches through program demonstrations to better meet beneficiary needs.

We will use surveillance, research, and oversight to protect our beneficiaries from substandard care and discriminatory care. Our focus will be on:

  • establishing minimum quality performance standards for plans and providers, assessing performance, and rapidly excluding substandard care providers from our programs.
  • providing performance information, guidelines, benchmarks, and improvement strategies to providers, plans, states, and beneficiaries and their advocates.
  • developing, testing and employing surveillance tools, such as the Medicare Quality of Care Surveillance System, to identify potential difficulties with services.
HHS Agencies contributing to this objective:


  • conducting research on how to solve service problems.

  • monitoring health plan and provider treatment of protected populations as changes in Medicare and Medicaid unfold, to ensure that these people are treated fairly (for example, working with state and local agencies to ensure that health care providers communicate effectively with sensory-impaired individuals and people with limited proficiency in English).