Sitting, Waiting, Watching CMS
I called it. "They're going to name someone as soon as I post," I declared in January when I pitched my article
about the vacant post at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
At the time, there were occasional blogs about Medicare's missing chief--even a quick flurry of comments when it appeared Glenn Steele might earn the nom. But media outlets were focused on one thing: health reform. Who would coordinate it? Well, they'd get to that once something was actually passed. Until then, they weren't too concerned with predictions--and, as I found, many experts weren't willing to speculate, either. It all but seemed swept under the rug.
So, I went ahead with the article. If no one was talking about it, I would. Maybe I'd even bring more media attention to the vacancy, so long as a nomination didn't beat me to it.
By the end of February, still no name. Deputies were announced; an indication that officials probably had a chief in mind, but all signs (and sources) indicated reform first, appointment later.
March 23: Health reform signed. It took nearly a year to settle on health care reform--would the Administration really switch gears within the week? Kinda. President Obama has yet to officially endorse Donald Berwick, MD, MPP, as CMS chief, but the firestorm of coverage that burned through last weekend makes his nomination seem all but inevitable.
Like I said, I called it. So today, I give you the version 3.0 of the article--about the not-so-vacant CMS post (though, technically, it still is).