At press time, the Senate Finance Committee hadn’t yet scheduled a hearing to review the nomination of Donald Berwick, MD, MPP, to the position of Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Announced by President Obama on April 19, the Berwick nomination is widely hailed as advancing the nation’s quality agenda. As a founder and as Chief Executive Officer of the Boston-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Berwick is known for championing the 100,000 Lives Campaign and other national quality initiatives.
“Dr. Berwick has dedicated his career to improving outcomes for patients and providing better care at lower cost,” President Obama said during his nomination press event. “That’s one of the core missions facing our next CMS Administrator, and I’m confident that Don will be an outstanding leader for the agency and the millions of Americans it serves.” Among his numerous honors, Berwick was the 2006 recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for Individual Achievement, given by the National Quality Forum and the 2007 Heinz Award for Public Policy from the Heinz Family Foundation.
The Berwick nomination was greeted with enthusiasm by a number of advocacy and professional organizations including the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and the American Health Quality Association (a trade association representing Quality Improvement Organizations).