Jonathan Blum stepping down from key CMS job
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.