Prior to his recess appointment to head the CMS in 2010 by President Barack Obama, Berwick was president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and served as an elected member of the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, which published the landmark report "To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System." As CMS administrator, he currently oversees Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. Berwick touts patient-centered medicine, better-shared records and improvement of coordinated care. Also key, he says, is reducing medical errors with a few simple reforms, which he believes could save hundreds of thousands of lives. His recess appointment and opinions on healthcare, however, have liberals and conservatives butting heads—and a recent letter from 42 Republican senators urging his permanent nomination be withdrawn—means he's likely to finish off his term at the end of this year.
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