Barry Straube, the CMS chief medical officer, will not be joining a Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association physician advisory board as previously stated by the Blues.
According to a CMS spokesman, there apparently has been a misunderstanding with the Blues, and the association erred when it issued a June 18 news release stating that Straube accepted a seat on a physician advisory board that will help develop the associations Blue Health Intelligence database of de-identified claims information.
Dr. Straube says he has not accepted any official role in these advisory groups, said CMS spokesman Don McLeod in an e-mail Tuesday, contradicting a Blues' news release announcing the formation of physician and employer Blue Health Intelligence advisory groups.
Straube had been asked a few months ago to possibly attend meetings and provide input as a liaison for CMS to a multistakeholder collaborative group on using claims data for various purposes, according to McLeod's e-mail. It was not represented as a BCBSA proprietary project.
The news release, however, noted that the advisory panels were formed to further enhance the market development of its Blue Health Intelligence initiative. The release said that the advisory groups will be responsible for contributing research-based insights and monitoring new cost and quality initiatives.
In any event, Dr. Straube has not accepted to be a member of any such group, McLeod's e-mail stated. They shouldn't be using his or CMS' name. Earlier today, the Blues acknowledged that Straube will not be on the panel. -- by Andis Robeznieks