Obama Nominee Vows to Run Medicare Agency as a "Business"

President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the huge agency that runs Medicare and Medicaid got rare bipartisan praise on Tuesday, but faced tough questions about healthcare reform and a recent controversial decision on Medicare Advantage payment rates.

Testifying before the Senate Finance Committee, which will decide whether to advance her nomination, Marilyn Tavenner said her role would be to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as a business, and as a partner with many healthcare entities for the benefit of all.

Tavenner, a former nurse and hospital company executive from Virginia, has been acting administrator of the agency since late 2011.

"We have an $820 billion dollar business to run that a large amount of this country has a stake in, from beneficiaries to providers to hospitals to insurance companies to Congress to the administration to our CMS employees and contractors," Tavenner said. "We need to operate CMS as a business and act like business partners."

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Source: Reuters