Capitol Correspondence - 09.09.19

Two Federal Nominations Expected Soon – CMS Innovation Center, FDA

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ANCOR is sharing these items from Politico Pulse because the two agencies listed are relevant to the disability community. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) has expressed interest in value-based payment models that could eventually cover Medicaid disability supports. CMMI is contained within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). ANCOR has long advocated that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ban electric shock devices used on children and adults with I/DD

As written by Politico Pulse:

MEANWHILE: BRAD SMITH FAVORED TO BE NEXT CMMI HEAD — Smith, who co-founded palliative care provider Aspire Health with former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, is being teed up to replace current director Adam Boehler, your PULSE scribe scooped Thursday night.

 The 36-year-old Smith is a former Rhodes scholar and McKinsey consultant who held a high-level economic development job in Tennessee under former Gov. Bill Haslam and was a staffer for former Sen. Bob Corker. Like Boehler, he’s also a successful entrepreneur: The Tennessean reported Aspire was sold to Anthem for an estimated $440 million last year.

— Multiple moving parts remain before HHS would announce Smith, who’s met with HHS leaders but is still going through review. Boehler also is waiting on Senate confirmation for a new role steering U.S. international investment in developing countries. But agency leaders are high on Smith — some HHS staff are calling him “Adam 2.0” — as someone who will continue Boehler’s track record of driving payment models through the innovation center.

— Smith told the story of his career path at a 2017 forum hosted by the Nashville Institute for Faith & Work. ‘I never thought I would run a health care company,’ he said, adding ‘I didn’t know what palliative care was,’ before discovering the field through his brother, a doctor-in-training at the time. Watch video.”

STEPHEN HAHN IS CLEAR FRONT-RUNNER FOR FDA — The M.D. Anderson physician is the favored candidate after meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday, POLITICO’s Adam Cancryn and Sarah Karlin-Smith reported based on multiple sources.

Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless and Harvard professor Alexa Boer Kimball are the other finalists, but one source told POLITICO that they haven’t met with Trump.

 Why Hahn? He’s got leadership experience as the cancer center’s chief medical executive; he’s a longtime GOP donor; and he’s accepted relatively little money from the drug and device industries. Taken together, HHS and White House officials believe those points provide the resume to quickly clear Senate confirmation.


— There’s a time crunch, given the rules around acting officials in Senate-confirmed positions: If Sharpless is going to be nominated as the full-time commissioner, he needs to be tapped by Nov. 1.

 But remember: Trump is a notoriously fickle president, which means no staffing decisions are final until they’re publicly announced.”