Source: AAFP Washington, DC, Office
On February 16, the Senate Finance Committee held a confirmation hearing for Seema Verma to be Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Ms. Verma is the president and founder of SVC Inc.—an Indiana-based consulting firm.
Ms. Verma’s 20-year career has included designing state Medicaid waivers in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Iowa. The three-hour hearing covered Medicare and Medicaid benefit design, Medicare payment systems, Medicaid financing, health-care fraud, the cost of drugs, and the future of the Affordable Care Act.
Democrats pressed Ms. Verma for commitments on several prominent issues such as whether the Medicare program should be privatized, whether the age of eligibility should be raised, and the authority of Medicare to bargain for lower drug prices.
Ms. Verma mentioned administrative burden, volunteering in her opening statement: “Doctors are increasingly frustrated by the number of costly and time-consuming burdens.” She emphasized repeatedly the importance of stakeholder engagement early and often as a way to ensure regulations do not unduly hamper providers from delivering care.