Berwick bows out as CMS chief, Tavenner to step in

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Donald M. Berwick, MD - 28.21 Kb
Donald M. Berwick, MD
Source: American Medical Association

Donald M. Berwick, MD, is resigning as Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), effective Dec. 2.

Marilyn Tavenner, the current COO and principal deputy administrator for CMS, will replace Berwick, according to a release from the White House’s Office of the Press Secretary.

Tavenner has served as principal deputy administrator since February 2010 and as acting administrator of CMS from February to July 2010.  Previously, Tavenner served as the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Resources in the administration of former Gov. Tim Kaine, the office stated.

Tavenner holds a BS in nursing and an MA in health administration, both from the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, released a statement on Berwick’s departure commending his commitment and passion to improving healthcare.

“We appreciate his openness to always being willing to listen to the hospital field's perspective on how to deliver better care to patients,” Umbdenstock wrote. “He was instrumental in paving the way to new forms of payments that allow for greater coordination for patients across the care continuum. His leadership in health reform implementation has been invaluable, and we are certain he will continue to make important contributions in this arena in the future.”

Umbdenstock added that he looks forward to continuing working with Tavenner. “We have no doubt that she will provide strong leadership in these challenging times.”