CMS Administrator Donald Berwick to Resign

Donald Berwick, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, will be leaving his post, effective Dec. 2, according to the Associated Press.

The news agency reports that Berwick’s resignation was confirmed by a senior congressional official ahead of an announcement by the Obama administration. He will be replaced by his principal deputy, Marilyn Tavenner, formerly Virginia’s top health care official, AP reports.

President Barack Obama issued a statement mid-day Wednesday saying announcing Tavenner’s nomination to the post being vacated by Berwick. A registered nurse, Tavenner served as the Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources under Gov. Tim Kaine, and has been Berwick’s principal deputy secretary.

Forty-two Republican senators in a letter earlier this year said they would oppose Berwick’s permanent appointment to the post. Berwick was recess-appointed in 2010 and that appointment was set to expire at the end of the year.

Berwick oversaw the drafting and rollout of major Medicare and Medicaid regulations that will begin to reshape the health care system, steering Medicare from paying for sheer volume of services and procedures and instead putting a premium on quality care that keeps patients healthier and avoids costly hospitalizations.

The pediatrician-turned-Harvard professor sought an overall better experience for patients and improving the health of particular groups including seniors and African Americans, the AP said. And he was a proponent of lowering costs through efficiency.

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