Former CMS Administrator Dr. Don Berwick has been appointed to serve on the board of Massachusetts' Health Policy Commission.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on Wednesday chose Berwick to replace Dr. Paul Hattis, who has served on the commission since 2012.
The commission is an independent state agency that develops policies to reduce healthcare costs and improve quality of care. It also monitors the performance of the state's healthcare system and analyzes the impact of potential mergers.
President Barack Obama appointed Berwick to lead the CMS in July 2010. While in the post, Berwick won praise for making the agency more responsive and focused on improvement.
Berwick stepped down in late 2011 when it was clear that Senate Republicans would not reconfirm him.
Berwick has also served as vice chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the first “independent” member of the American Hospital Association's board of trustees. He also was chairman of the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, according to a release.
In 2013, Berwick sought the Democratic Party nomination for governor of Massachusetts. He lost to state Attorney General Martha Coakley.
Berwick co-founded the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in 1991 and led it for 20 years. Its goal was to study ways of improving the healthcare system by reducing errors, waste, delays and costs. Today, it partners with industry leaders and providers to find solutions to individual and population-health problems, including issues related to quality, cost, patient safety, as well as individual- and family-centered care.
Formerly a pediatrician, Berwick has had appointments at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and has served on the staffs of Boston Children's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Brigham and Women's Hospital. He is currently a lecturer in Harvard Medical School's Department of Health Care Policy.
Berwick's appointment is effective on Jan. 1. Martin Cohen and David Cutler, the attorney general's other appointees, were reappointed to the board.
Among the potential deals happening in Massachusetts are Partners HealthCare's move to merge with Medford, Mass.-based Hallmark Health System, and Providence, R.I.-based Care New England's tie-up with Southcoast Health System and its four hospitals in southeastern Massachusetts.