Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Brooks-LaSure oversees an agency that has enacted sweeping changes that will affect huge swathes of the healthcare industry—making her Modern Healthcare’s pick to top the 2023 list of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.
Brooks-LaSure has used her decades of experience in the public and private sectors to advance health equity. Before taking the reins at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2021, she played a major part in the passage of the Affordable Care Act as a House Ways and Means Committee staff member. She then spearheaded the implementation of ACA coverage and insurance reform policy provisions through her leadership positions at CMS and the Health and Human Services Department.
Now, as the leader of the country’s largest single health payer, she has highlighted the key role the agency plays in promoting high-quality care and smarter spending. CMS in September unveiled a proposed rule setting minimum standards for nursing home staffing levels, taking a step toward making good on President Joe Biden’s promise 1 1/2 years earlier. It has also stepped up hospital price transparency enforcement and worked to rein in Medicare Advantage carriers, with Brooks-LaSure pointing to the latter as evidence of the agency’s efforts to “curb predatory marketing and inappropriate steering.” Other final rules trimmed Medicare physician payments and boosted home health reimbursement, showing the weight of CMS decision-making.
Throughout her time at CMS, Brooks-LaSure has emphasized the importance of narrowing disparities in outcomes and boosting transparency. She has raised concerns about how much Americans pay for medication, calling it a “growing problem” that CMS is working to address. The future will see further changes, as the agency begins negotiating with manufacturers to determine Medicare prices for 10 selected drugs.