A Changing Of The Guard At CMS
CQ HealthBeat reports on the new head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, while other news outlets report on the outgoing administrator's thoughts on the job and the system.
CQ HealthBeat: Tavenner To CMS: Reversal Of Polarity?
Labels mislead. But they matter. And that may be a good thing for the Obama administration as Marilyn Tavenner takes the helm at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, which not only runs those government programs but also is in charge of implementing the 2010 health care overhaul law. The day before Thanksgiving, the president announced his choice of Tavenner, 60, to replace Donald M. Berwick, who on the same day bowed to political reality when he said he would step down Dec. 2 after 17 months as CMS administrator. Tavenner will serve as acting head of the agency during the confirmation process (Reichard, 12/5).
ABC: Up To One-Third Of Health Spending Is 'Waste' Former CMS Head Tells NYT
There's an "extremely high level of waste" in federal health spending, ranging between 20 and 30 percent, the freshly departed head of the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services told the New York Times. "Much is done that does not help patients at all," said Dr. Donald M. Berwick, who was temporarily appointed by President Obama to head CMS. "And many physicians know it." Berwick listed five reasons for the waste, as reported by the NYT: "overtreatment of patients, the failure to coordinate care, the administrative complexity of the health care system, burdensome rules and fraud" (Khan, 12/5).
WBUR's On Point program: Former Medicare Chief Donald Berwick Speaks
Dr. Donald Berwick hit the buzzsaw of American politics as short-time chief of Medicare. Now, he's out, and talking (Ashbrook, 12/6).