Policy & LawPublic Health

New CMS Chief Confirmed by Senate

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CMSUnder the radar, perhaps? One would think that that news of the first Senate-confirmed CMS head in 7 years would get some media play. This week, the U.S. Senate confirmed Marilyn Tavenner to the post. The last confirmation came at the hands of George W. Bush in 2003, Mark McClellan MD, PhD. Tavenner — a non-physician — served in the interim after recess appointee Donald Berwick, MD stepped down.

CMSUnder the radar, perhaps? One would think that that news of the first Senate-confirmed CMS head in 7 years would get some media play. This week, the U.S. Senate confirmed Marilyn Tavenner to the post. The last confirmation came at the hands of George W. Bush in 2003, Mark McClellan MD, PhD. Tavenner — a non-physician — served in the interim after recess appointee Donald Berwick, MD stepped down. Berwick was never confirmed by the Senate after remarks he made which were somewhat praiseworthy of the healthcare delivery system in the United Kingdom.

Prior to this installment, Tavenner worked as a healthcare exec for HCA for a quarter century. She started her career as a nurse in her home state of Virginia more than 30 years ago. Her appointment comes with support from advocacy groups such as the AMA, and confirmation was largely a non-controversial event — with bipartisan holdouts (Tom Harkin, D-IA; Orrin Hatch, R-UT) ultimately coming around.

Tavenner assumes the CMS head position at a time when the ACA begins its next chapter — the pending arrival of healthcare exchanges, a reintroduction of the reform law to masses, and ongoing issues surrounding the optional expansion of Medicaid funding by states as a provision of the law. | LINK

(image: Marilyn Tavenner / Reuters)

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