Capitol Correspondence - 10.07.19

Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation Names Acting Director

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ANCOR has been monitoring the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) because it has been exploring value-based payment models that could set precedents for the Medicaid program in the future. CMMI falls under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). POLITICO Pulse is reporting that, as a result of CMMI’s former head receiving an appointment to a different agency, CMMI has a new Acting Director.

AMY BASSANO now acting director of the CMS Innovation Center. Bassano will lead the agency while a potential replacement for Adam Boehler is undergoing background checks, multiple sources with knowledge tell POLITICO‘s Rachel Roubein and Dan Diamond. Bassano, a career civil servant, has been a deputy director at the center for testing Medicare payment models since 2016 and has served as acting director before.

An HHS spokesperson confirmed Bassano is serving as acting director and said the department is “in the process of hiring a new director.”

PULSE previously scooped that two candidates – entrepreneur BRAD SMITH and ChenMed exec GAUROV DAYAL — are in the running to permanently replace Boehler.”

Readers following this topic might be interested in this passage from an interview by Politico Pulse with former CMMI head Adam Boehler:

“Adam Boehler, who led the powerful center for 18 months, said he oversaw the rollout of about 16 new payment models — a much faster pace than the center’s work under former HHS Secretary Tom Price. Boehler ticked off criteria for deciding which pilots to pursue, including whether the proposals were easy to implement.

‘If something was [a] totally new payment system that really would take us two years … is that juice worth the squeeze?’ Boehler said on the podcast, just hours after wrapping up his stint at the health department this week.

Boehler, who also served as HHS Secretary Alex Azar’s senior advisor on value-based care, detailed one of his top priorities: taking CMMI from ‘a startup’ under the Obama administration to becoming a ‘scalable’ operation.

‘When you see our new models, they are built on a common chassis,’said Boehler, a former startup executive. ‘Once you’ve built on this common area, you’re able to introduce more flavors to it instead of 40 different kinds of models.’”