President Joe Biden will nominate Chiquita Brooks-LaSure for administrator of the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Washington Post has reported. Thus far, neither CMS or the White House has made a public statement on the nomination.
The nomination is subject to Senate approval. If confirmed, Brooks-LaSure will lead the agency at a time when hospice is being introduced to value-based payment options like Medicare Advantage, alternative payment models and direct contracting. She is no stranger to CMS or value-based initiatives, having served as deputy director of the agency’s health insurance office. She was also involved in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Stakeholders in the hospice and serious illness care community were quick to applaud the nomination.
“C-TAC is pleased to see that Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, a health policy expert and veteran of CMS, has been chosen to lead the agency,” said Coalition to Transform Advanced Care Executive Director Jon Broyles. “We look forward to working alongside the Biden Administration to improve the lives of people with serious illness and their families and tackle the inequities that the sickest and most vulnerable continue to face in our health care system.”
Prior to her work in government, Brooks-LaSure was managing director for Manatt Ventures, a health care consulting firm. She was also a congressional staffer for the House Ways and Means Committee, where she worked closely with Rep. Xavier Becerra, who Biden has tapped to become U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services.
“We are thrilled that Chiquita Brooks-LaSure has been nominated to lead CMS. She understands the inner workings of government and has a deep appreciation for health advocacy,” said National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization President and CEO Edo Banach.
“Key staff among NHPCO’s leadership congratulate their former colleague Ms. Brooks-LaSure and enthusiastically support the administration’s choice to lead the Medicare and Medicaid programs.”
If confirmed, Brooks-LaSure will be instrumental to fulfillment of the Biden Administration’s health policy priorities, including beefing up the Affordable Care Act and reducing the age of Medicare eligibility, as well as the implementation of value-based payment models that could impact hospices.
“Chiquita Brooks-LaSure would bring solid experience to a very difficult job,” said National Association for Home Care & Hospice President Bill Dombi. “Over the years, she has demonstrated a high degree of capability and the versatility to handle the wide range on matters that occur in Medicare and Medicaid.”
Neither CMS or the White House commented to Hospice News on the nomination. According to the Washington Post, their sources spoke on condition of anonymity.