Several top federal Medicare leaders have taken new roles just months before Donald Trump assumes the presidency.
Arrah Tabe-Bedward, the former director of the CMS' Medicare Enrollment and Appeals Group, now serves as the deputy director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, according to a memo from the CMS. The Affordable Care Act created the CMMI, which experiments with new models of healthcare delivery and payment like mandatory bundled payments and accountable care organizations.
Many Republicans and industry groups have criticized CMMI for its rapid shift to value-based care and may try to weaken the center's authority next year. The controversial pilot project that would change payments for Medicare Part B drugs incensed doctors and pharmaceutical companies, whose revenue would be reduced by such changes. Trump's Republican pick for HHS secretary, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, recently sent a letter to top CMS officials asking to “cease all current and future planned mandatory initiatives under the CMMI.”
Replacing Tabe-Bedward as head of the Medicare Enrollment and Appeals Group is Gerard Mulcahy, who has led the Medicare Part C & D Oversight and Enforcement Group since 2011 and has been with the CMS since 2002.
As the leader of the oversight agency, Mulcahy made the final calls on penalties and sanctions for privately run Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans. Earlier this year, Mulcahy sent the notice to Cigna Corp. that immediately suspended the large insurer from enrolling more Medicare Advantage enrollees.
Vikki Ahern, deputy director of the Medicare Part C & D Oversight and Enforcement Group, replaces Mulcahy as the permanent director.