Federal Manager's Daily Report

In what could be an ominous sign of where agencies will look to fill important management positions, the recently enacted Medicare reform bill explicitly encourages hiring for positions to help run the new Medicare benefits from outside government, rather than from within.

The measure creates a new center within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services with authority to hire necessary management staff with expertise in health care contracts, actuarial science, consumer education and other fields. The pay for these managers can go as high as that for the top levels of the senior executive service.

From a congressional explanation of intent: Such flexibility ensures those with private sector, real world experience managing benefit plans are hired and utilized to ensure the success of the new Medicare plans.