CMS' Verma Visiting and Listening to Healthcare Providers
Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is on a national whistle-stop tour to listen to physicians and other healthcare professionals. She began her tour at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut Monday, Oct. 16.
FierceHealthcare said she spoke with doctors, the Connecticut Medical Society, and other local health leaders about developing more consistent quality measures, facilitating care integration, enabling faster adoption of new technologies and treatments, and strengthening support for and the need to address the opiod crisis.
Verma at CMS
Verma, a healthcare consultant who helped Vice President Mike Pence revamp Indiana’s Medicaid when Pence was the Hoosier state’s governor, has focused on reducing regulatory burdens and giving clinicians more time to focus on patients.
Since she joined the agency in March, CMS released a proposed rule that updates the physician payment system implemented under MACRA to make it easier independent and rural practices to participate. Her staff also proposes adapting the physician fee schedule to lift what clinicians feel are regulatory burdens, support patient-physician relationships, and enhance health care delivery.
Verma for Price?
Verma is a leading candidate to replace Tom Price, who resigned in September after it was determined he was charting private jets using federal money. Deemed a “problem solver, ” she has stiff competition, including former HHS deputy secretary Alex Azar, Veteran’s Affairs secretary David Shulkin, and acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargen.
The nominee’s confirmation will be contingent on Senate confirmation, and the successful candidate must appeal to both sides of the aisle.