Obama Nominates Berwick to Head CMS
President Obama has officially nominated Donald Berwick, MD, for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator, according to a White House statement released April 19.
Dr. Berwick currently serves as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and also is a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. More is available in EdgeBlast 146.
“Dr. Berwick has dedicated his career to improving outcomes for patients and providing better care at lower cost,” President Obama said. “That’s one of the core missions facing our next CMS Administrator, and I’m confident that Don will be an outstanding leader for the agency and the millions of Americans it serves.”
Declining comment pending nomination hearings, Berwick’s spokesman, Jesse duPont, said Berwick “is honored to be nominated and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement is gratified that a leader in health care quality improvement has been recognized by the Obama administration as a strong candidate to head up CMS.”
The American Medical Association (AMA) had this to say: “We welcome President Obama’s nomination of Dr. Donald Berwick to be Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). He is widely known and well-respected for his visionary leadership efforts that focus on optimizing the quality and safety of patient care in hospitals and across health care settings. The AMA has partnered with Dr. Berwick’s Institute for Healthcare Improvement in many of those efforts. Upon confirmation, we look forward to working with Dr. Berwick at CMS on implementation of the new health reform law and on ensuring that physicians can continue to care for seniors who rely on Medicare.”
Nomination hearings for Berwick’s confirmation, however, may be less than hospitable. According to Part B News blogger Charles Fiegl, despite accolades Berwick has received from Democrats and medical associations, “Republicans are mounting opposition to his bid for CMS administrator.” The reason, Fiegl says, is because of Berwick’s support for comparative effectiveness research.
Fiegl explains further in his April 22 blog.