A top Senate Republican continues to press newly minted CMS Administrator Don Berwick over possible conflicts of interest from his previous tenure as president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, a Cambridge, Mass.-based think tank.
Grassley to Berwick: Disclose conflicts of interest
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the senior Republican on the influential Senate Finance Committee, in a letter has asked Berwick to provide the IHI's last three tax disclosure forms, known as 990s, and any government waivers made over possible financial conflicts he may have.
“The requested information goes to the heart of the issue of whether you are able to execute your significant responsibilities as CMS administrator in a fair and impartial manner,” Grassley wrote.
In addition, the senator wants to know whether Berwick and his family continue to receive benefits from the IHI. IHI tax records going back to 2004 indicate he and his wife were awarded healthcare benefits for life.
President Barack Obama used a recess appointment to place Berwick in the top CMS post. The move sidestepped what would have been a contentious hearing in Grassley's Finance Committee and on the Senate floor.
Though lauded by the provider community, the Berwick appointment has stirred anger on Capitol Hill among some Republicans concerned about statements he made apparently praising government-run healthcare.
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