Donald Berwick, MD, is expected to be nominated as the new administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), reports the Boston Globe. Although an official announcement of the appointment has yet to be made, multiple news sources report that a White House spokesman has confirmed the nomination. Berwick is a physician and quality and patient safety expert who teaches pediatrics and health policy at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health.
If confirmed by the Senate, Berwick would oversee one of the government’s largest agencies, replacing acting administrator Charlene M. Frizzera, who also is the CMS chief operating officer, and filling a position that has been vacant since Mark McClellan, MD, stepped down from the role in 2006. CMS, an operating division within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), serves almost 102 million Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries. For fiscal year 2011 CMS made a budget request of $493.8 billion. Berwick would take over the task of implementing changes to CMS programs mandated by the recently passed health reform law.