HHS Secretary Alex Azar has tapped Adam Boehler, the founder and former CEO of the home-based medical care company Landmark Health, to serve as the next deputy administrator and director of CMS' Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).
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What CMMI does
CMMI, which was established under the Affordable Care Act, develops and tests Medicare and Medicaid payment and service delivery models as part of an effort to:
- Improve quality of care;
- Lower costs; and
- Move away from the traditional fee-for-service model.
Some have questioned whether CMMI is effectively able to make changes to the broader health care system. Republican lawmakers also have questioned whether CMMI has the authority to implement certain mandatory payment models.
Recognizing those concerns, CMS in September 2017 requested health care providers and other stakeholders' input on how the Trump administration could use CMMI to make it easier for the health care industry to work with Medicare. Provider groups in response called on CMS to use CMMI to implement better alternative payment models that are transparent and adequately pay providers.
Azar taps Boehler to take over CMMI
According to The Hill, Boehler is slated to take over as CMMI's deputy administrator and director beginning this week.
Boehler most recently served as the CEO of Landmark Health—a medical group that leverages a technology platform to provide at-home medical services to chronically ill patients, as well as those with complex medical conditions. Before launching Landmark Health, Boehler founded:
- The lab-benefit management service company Avalon Healthcare Solutions;
- The lab management companies Accumen and aLabs; and
- Trellis Rx, which builds, funds, and operates specialty pharmacies in partnership with health systems.
In addition, Boehler previously held positions at:
- Accretive, a private equity firm;
- Battery Ventures, a venture capital firm; and
- MedeFinance, an analytics firm.
According to FierceHealthcare, Boehler last year led discussions about issues involving interoperability at a meeting hosted by White House Office of American Innovation.
According to CQ Health, Boehler is well-regarded among leaders in the United States' transition to value-based payments, including Patrick Conway, a holdover from former President Barack Obama's administration who led CMMI before joining Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina as CEO last year. According to CQ Health, Conway had encouraged Boehler to apply for the post. However, Boehler does not have government experience, HealthExec reports.
According to CQ Health, peers and friends of Boehler have said his intelligence, vision, and entrepreneurial experience make him suitable to lead CMMI and develop new health care payment models.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma in an email sent Friday to agency staff wrote that Boehler "is widely regarded as an innovative leader in the private sector and in him we are lucky to have someone who has designed and implemented new, patient-focused approaches to health care delivery" (Sullivan, The Hill, 4/6; Reed, FierceHealthcare, 4/6; Clason, CQ Health, 4/6 [subscription required]; Gregory, HealthExec, 4/6).
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