The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced May 15 that the Senate confirmed Marilyn Tavenner as administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
“I’m pleased to announce that the Senate voted today to confirm Marilyn Tavenner as administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, making her the first CMS administrator to be confirmed in over nine years,” said Sebelius. “Marilyn brings with her a breadth of experience and expertise from virtually all angles of healthcare policy and delivery, having served as a hospital CEO, a state health official, and a registered nurse.”
Tavenner was the acting administrator for CMS, and previously served as principal deputy administrator. She is a public health advocate, manages the agency that administers Medicare, and provides funds and guidance to all states for their Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP) programs. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act in March 2010, she is also responsible for overseeing CMS as it implements the insurance reforms and health insurance marketplaces included in the health reform law. Prior to assuming her CMS leadership role, Tavenner served for four years as the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Resources. She also spent 25 years working for the Hospital Corporation of American (HCA). She began working as a nurse at the Johnston-Willis Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, in 1981, and rose through the company as the hospital’s CEO and, by 2001, had assumed responsibility for 20 hospitals as president of the company’s Central Atlantic division. She finished her service to HCA in 2005 as group president of outpatient services, where she spearheaded the development of a national strategy for freestanding outpatient services, including physician recruitment and real estate development.