Jonathan Blum step­ping down from key CMS job

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS MAKERS -

Who: Jonathan Blum, 44

Leav­ing: The CMS as of May 16. Blum was named Medi­care di­rec­tor in March 2009, be­com­ing the agency’s first po­lit­i­cal ap­pointee un­der Pres­i­dent Barack Obama. Last year, he was pro­moted to prin­ci­pal deputy ad­min­is­tra­tor of the CMS. Dur­ing his ten­ure, the agency de­vel­oped its Medi­care ac­count­able care or­ga­ni­za­tion pro­gram, im­ple­mented the star-rat­ing bonus sys­tem for Medi­care Ad­van­tage plans and for the first time re­leased data on Medi­care pay­ments for more than 800,000 physi­cians.

Pre­vi­ous po­si­tions: Be­fore join­ing the CMS, Blum worked on Medi­care is­sues at the Of­fice of Man­age­ment and Budget. He also served as a top health­care staffer for then-Sen. Max Bau­cus (D-Mont.) and as a VP at the re­search firm Avalere Health.

His legacy: Blum earned praise from agency ob­servers for his will­ing­ness to take into con­sid­er­a­tion in­dus­try feed­back on im­por­tant pol­icy is­sues. In par­tic­u­lar, the ACO pro­gram un­der­went sig­nif­i­cant changes in 2011 af­ter some pro­pos­als en­coun­tered blow­back for be­ing overly pre­scrip­tive and bur­den­some.

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