Washington hospital lobbyist Herb Kuhn will leave the advocacy business to help the CMS administer the massive Medicare reform law, the agency announced. Kuhn, 47, will serve as the director of the Center for Medicare Management, replacing Thomas Grissom, who left the position Dec. 27, 2003, to join Boston Scientific Corp.
Previously Kuhn was vice president of advocacy at the Premier hospital alliance, a position he had held since 2000. Before that, he spent 13 years as the vice president of federal relations at the American Hospital Association.
The Center for Medicare Management serves as the focal point of the agency's interactions with healthcare providers, fiscal intermediaries and carriers, according to the CMS' Web site, cms.hhs.gov.
"We look forward to Herb bringing more than two decades of Washington healthcare policy and management experience to his new charge," Acting CMS Administrator Dennis Smith said in an e-mail broadcast to agency staff. Kuhn's official start date is March 8.
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Mark McClellan, who has been nominated to run the CMS, "is lucky to get a person of Herb's caliber and smarts and knowledge of the industry and the Medicare law and people on Capitol Hill," said Frederick Graefe, a lobbyist with the law firm Hunton & Williams. The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to consider McClellan's nomination this week.
Kuhn declined to comment on his new job.