According to media reports, President Barack Obama has asked the U.S. Senate to confirm Andy Slavitt, who has been serving as Acting Administrator at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, to the permanent position of CMS Administrator. As a Bloomberg Business report published online Thursday evening, June 9, noted, “Slavitt is already the acting administrator of CMS. He joined the government in 2014, after working as an executive vice president at UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s Optum unit, which helped fix the main Obamacare website, healthcare.gov.”
That same Bloomberg Business report, by Zachary Tracer, noted that Slavitt’s nomination may not go unchallenged. As he writes, “Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican who’s chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said Slavitt will have to answer questions about his work at UnitedHealth. ‘Mr. Slavitt’s conflicted history in the medical services industry has produced mixed results and raised a number of serious concerns,’ Hatch said in a statement. ‘Slavitt will need to answer a number of tough questions regarding his former employer and their relationship with the agency.’” Meanwhile, that same report noted that “Groups representing hospitals and doctors said they were pleased by Slavitt’s nomination.”
Slavitt has been serving as Acting Administrator since late February, when Marilyn Tavenner stepped down as CMS Administrator. He had joined CMS in June 2014 as Principal Deputy Administator. Previously, he had served as CEO of OptumInsight, a subsidiary of Optum, from 2006 to 2011, and had served in several other roles at UnitedHealth Group, Optum's parent company, prior to that.
Healthcare Informatics will continue to update readers on additional developments in this story.