CMS Top Official Tavenner Resigning

Marilyn B. Tavenner, the administrator of CMS, announced on Friday that she will be stepping down from her position at the federal agency.

Marilyn B. Tavenner, the administrator of CMS, announced on Friday that she will be stepping down from her position at the federal agency. The Huffington Post first reported the news of her departure from CMS.

Ms Tavenner helped preside over the troubled initial rollout of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). Her departure comes 10 months after HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stepped down from her position after the troubled start to the ACA.

In an email to staff obtained by Fierce Health Payer, HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell attributed the fact that nearly 10 million Americans gained healthcare covered in the last year to Ms Tavenner’s work.

“It goes without saying that Marilyn will be remembered for her leadership in opening the Health Insurance Marketplace,” Ms Burwell wrote. “In so doing, she worked day and night so that millions of Americans could finally obtain the security and peace of mind of quality health insurance at a price they could afford. It's a measure of her tenacity and dedication that after the tough initial rollout of HealthCare.gov, she helped right the ship, bringing aboard a systems integrator and overseeing an overhaul of the website.”

Andy Slavitt, principal deputy administrator for CMS and former executive at UnitedHealth Group Inc, will replace Ms Tavenner as administrator; however, he will need Senate confirmation if the position is to remain permanent.

Ms Tavenner’s resignation will take effect at the end of the month, after the current ACA open enrollment period ends on February 15.

“It is with sadness and mixed emotions that I write to tell you that February will be my last month serving as the Administrator for CMS,” she wrote in a letter to staff obtained by Fierce Health Payer. “I have great pride and joy knowing all that we have accomplished together since I came on board five years ago in February of 2010.”

The American Journal of Managed Care interviewed Ms Tavenner just weeks before HealthCare.gov launched in 2013 and discussed CMS’ role in the new, evolving healthcare landscape.

Marilyn Tavenner Discusses Healthcare Reform and the Role of CMS