Friday, July 16, 2010

Dr. Berwick: New Admin of CMS

At Merrill Corp., we like change. We like it because we see it as an opportunity to grow, to expand and to better provide our services for our clients in newer and more efficient ways because as the winds of change blow, we embrace the new direction of travel.

The latest winds have brought Dr. Donald Berwick to serve as the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) through a recess appointment. A “recess appointment” means that the president is putting Berwick in place while Congress is not in session, therefore bypassing the Senate confirmation process (an act that is both legal and surrounded in precedent).

While the recess appointment has generated much debate, the current administration feels there is no time for delays in Dr. Berwick’s appointment, especially with health reform in full on-boarding mode. Dr. Berwick’s appointment is supported by AARP, three prior directors of the CMS, and American Association of Family Physicians, the American Medical Association, and the American Hospital Association.

The hiring of Dr. Berwick shows the importance the administration is placing on health reform. “With the agency facing new responsibilities to protect seniors’ care under the Affordable Care Act, there’s no time to waste with Washington game-playing,” stated a White House Spokesperson.

While the administration is placing great importance on health reform, we are making sure to embrace the change and use it to better provide for our clients. As organizations look for ways to strengthen and improve communications to their membership, they will turn to vendors who remain informed and stand out as progressive thought leaders. We welcome Dr. Berwick and are excited to see what changes come about from his new position.

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