NATIONAL HERITAGE: NAMED AS NEW MEDICARE PART B CARRIER
The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) announcedThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
yesterday that it has awarded the National Heritage Insurance
Company a contract to act as the Medicare Part B carrier for
Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. National
Heritage, a subsidiary of Electronic Data Systems, will replace
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, which bowed out of
its Medicare contract in January (see AHL 1/21). The company had
served as a subcontractor to Blue Cross for claims processing.
National Heritage was recently named as the Medicare Part B
carrier for Northern California. National Heritage will retain
Blue Cross of Massachusetts' Medicare Part B operation
headquarters in Hingham, MA, and has indicated that it will hire
many of Blue Cross' current staff. The transition is expected to
be completed by August 1 (HCFA release, 3/4).
SMOOTH CHANGES: Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), who urged HCFA
officials to select National Heritage, said he was "pleased" with
the decision. He said that by selecting National Heritage "over
350 jobs in Massachusetts will be saved and services to over 1.2
millon Medicare providers and beneficiaries will be preserved
without a disruption of services" (Stein, BOSTON GLOBE, 3/5).
HCFA Administrator Bruce Vladeck said, "Both the incoming and
outgoing carriers are cooperating fully, and Medicare
beneficiaries and providers can be assured there will be no
interruption of service" (HCFA release, 3/4).