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Obama again taps Tavenner to head CMS

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 18, 2013

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President Obama re-nominated Marilyn Tavenner to lead the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Feb. 7.

Tavenner had been nominated in November 2011 after the resignation of former Administrator Donald M. Berwick, MD, whose recess-appointed term was about to expire. At the time, her nomination was applauded by Democrats and Republicans, but the Senate never held a hearing to confirm the appointment.

Tavenner has been acting CMS administrator since Dr. Berwick left the agency. Her experience includes four years as secretary of Virginia Health and Human Resources and CEO of Hospital Corp. of America.

The American Medical Association strongly supports Tavenner for the post, said AMA President Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD. She is the right person to lead the agency through ongoing health system reforms and to work to ensure that patients have access to high-quality care while implementing programs that also will achieve savings, he said.

“As the acting administrator for CMS, she has proven to be an effective, thoughtful leader,” Dr. Lazarus said. “She actively seeks input and considers various sides of an issue, making sure all stakeholders have an opportunity to be heard during decision-making processes.”

Tavenner also has enthusiastic support from hospitals, said American Hospital Assn. President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock. “Marilyn’s varied and rich background as a nurse, health care executive and government official at the state and national levels gives her a unique perspective and demonstrates that she is a very capable leader of the Medicare and Medicaid programs.”

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