If the Obama administration were to nominate Marilyn Tavenner, principal deputy administrator and chief operating officer of the CMS, to lead that agency instead of Dr. Donald Berwick, the current administrator who has been renominated, its priorities would not change in the coming years, she said.
“Whether I'm nominated or not, we would not have a different approach,” Tavenner told the Nashville Health Care Council on Tuesday morning.
She said the agency—responsible for implementing many of the features of the complex and controversial healthcare reform law—would continue to follow a specific five-year plan based on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Berwick's nomination battle has seen solidifying Republican opposition in recent weeks, and the Democratic senator leading the process said that Berwick lacks enough votes to receive confirmation. News reports have speculated that Tavenner might have congressional support to replace Berwick.
Tavenner also said the CMS will issue long-overdue draft regulations to implement accountable care organizations by the end of March. Those regulations will take a pilot approach instead of a broad nationwide rollout of ACOs, she said. “We need to test different models to make sure they work,” Tavenner said.