Obama makes his pick for CMS administrator

Friday, July 10, 2015

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated Andrew Slavitt as CMS administrator, according to news reports.

Slavitt has been acting administrator for CMS since Marilyn Tavenner stepped down in February.

“Since taking the role in February, Slavitt’s focus as acting administrator is on strengthening CMS’s role in helping the healthcare delivery system meet the evolving needs of consumer by transforming the way care is paid for providing the tools to make the system thrive and by fostering simplicity and transparency,” according to his profile on the CMS web site.

Slavitt originally joined the agency in July 2014 as principal deputy administrator.

Reaction to the news of the appointment was mixed, according to reports. Some, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “No one can successfully manage a law as unworkable as Obamacare,” while others, like American Hospital Association CEO Rich Umbdenstock said, Slavitt has a “deep understanding of the US healthcare system and a commitment to improving patient care.”

Previously, Slavitt served as group executive vice president for Optum, where he oversaw the delivery of clinical, technology and operational solutions to healthcare clients and consumers. He was also CEO of OptumInsight.

Additionally, Slavitt was the founder and CEO of HealthAllies, a consumer healthcare service company focused on serving people who are uninsured or underinsured by contracting affordable care on their behalf nationwide.