March 17, 2017

Senate Confirms New CMS Administrator Seema Verma

The U.S. Senate confirmed Seema Verma as the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on March 13. Her confirmation was approved on a 55 to 43 vote.

Verma, will lead CMS, with overall management responsibility for its mammoth Medicare and Medicaid programs under the direction of Tom Price, MD, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). During her early days at CMS, she is expected to oversee regulations pertaining to the impending repeal and replacement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), administer the determination of Medicare coverages and service payment policies, and address major changes expected for regulations from the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

Verma will also be responsible for the timely implementation of a requirement, supported by the American College of Radiology, for ordering clinicians to consult appropriate use criteria prior to ordering advanced diagnostic imaging services.

Before her appointment and confirmation, Verma was an Indiana-based health consultant who worked closely with the then Indiana governor and current vice president, Mike Pence, to implement changes to the state’s Medicaid program. She replaces Andy Slavitt, who was held over on an acting basis from the Obama administration.