Last week President Obama nominated Dr. Don Berwick, President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, as the new head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Since President Obama took office, this key position overseeing the financing and management of Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP has stayed vacant. The CMS Administrator will play an integral role implementing the new legislation, and we applaud the President’s nomination of Dr. Berwick to this position.
Dr. Berwick has had a distinguished career in health care and a long track record working closely with health centers. As a pediatrician, a former official on the US Preventive Services Task Force, and a lifelong advocate of consumer right and quality health care, Dr. Berwick understands health centers’ mission and the important role we play in the health care delivery system.
As the Administrator of CMS, Dr. Berwick will take a lead role in implementing many health reform provisions, including the new Medicare FQHC reimbursement structure and Medicaid expansions. Leading an agency charged with the health care of over 100 million Americans and millions of health center patients, Dr. Berwick’s commitment to health care quality improvement and community engagement will be a vital part of the success of the new law.
Here at NACHC, and on behalf of all health centers, we are proud to support the nomination of Dr. Berwick and we look forward to his confirmation. His confirmation hearing will be held by the Senate Finance Committee, and it is still unscheduled although it could happen as early as this week. Stay tuned to the Health Centers on the Hill Blog for updates on Dr. Berwick’s nomination and confirmation.