Former CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner to Lead AHIP

Former CMS administrator, Marilyn B. Tavenner, will step into the role of president and chief executive of America's Health Insurance Plans.

Former CMS administrator, Marilyn B. Tavenner, will step into the role of president and chief executive of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), according to the New York Times.

Ms Tavenner, who stepped down from her position in CMS following the troubled rollout of HealthCare.gov, was elected to lead the health insurance lobbying organization by the board. She is replacing Karen Ignagni, who left AHIP for a role with EmblemHealth.

"There is no better individual than Marilyn to lead our industry through the increasingly complex health care transformation that is underway," AHIP board chairman Mark Ganz said in a statement. "As the unifying voice for our industry, AHIP and its members are uniquely positioned to address the pressing health care challenges facing consumers, and Marilyn is a recognized leader who brings the experience, tenacity, and dedication to achieve our advocacy goals and to move the health system forward in a way that is patient-centered."

Prior to her position with CMS, Ms Tavenner served as secretary of Health and Human Services for the state of Virginia, and held numerous leadership roles with the Hospital Corporation of America, including president of the Central Atlantic Division and group president of Outpatient Services. Mr Ganz praised the respect and trust Ms Tavenner has of policymakers and stakeholders from all sides.

"I am honored to join this association and to lead this industry that is deeply committed to improving care delivery and affordability for individuals and families," Ms Tavenner said.

According to the Times, Ms Tavenner, who will be the new voice for insurers such as Aetna, Anthem, and Kaiser Permanente, will not be able to lobby CMS or other parts of HHS during the remaining months of the Obama administration due to federal conflict-of-interest rules and her previous position overseeing CMS. However, she is free to lobby Congress during that time.

Her appointment with AHIP comes just days after President Obama officially nominated Andy Slavitt, who has been acting administrator of CMS since Ms Tavenner left in February, to become the new CMS administrator.

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. Watch the video, Marilyn Tavenner Discusses Healthcare Reform and the Role of CMS.