CMS Deputy Administrator and COO Ruben King-Shaw Jr., 41, has resigned effective tomorrow. In an e-mail to CMS staff, King-Shaw said he relinquished his position "to meet my responsibilities to my family, to fulfill my duties as leader of the Bush administration's healthcare tax credit strategies and to serve the president in other ways." Washington insiders said King-Shaw's resignation has been expected and he most likely will return to Florida, which faces serious problems in its Medicaid program. Before being appointed to the CMS, King-Shaw was secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. CMS Administrator Tom Scully called King-Shaw's decision to resign "98% personal" and said he attempted to persuade King-Shaw to stay. Read a profile of King-Shaw in this week's Modern Healthcare.
In other Washington news, House and Senate lawmakers introduced legislation that would permanently equalize base payment rates for urban and rural hospitals, revise wage index calculations and create supplemental payments for small-volume rural hospitals. The proposals likely will become part of a larger Medicare reform package, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said. The legislation's estimated cost is $17 billion to $19 billion over 10 years. -- by Jeff Tieman