Report: Trump taps Brian Neale to head Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services

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Neale worked with Seema Verma—who is awaiting confirmation on her nomination to head the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—to design the state’s Medicaid demonstration project known as Healthy Indiana (HIP) 2.0.

The Trump administration has chosen Brian Neale, who helped create Indiana’s conservative version of Medicaid expansion, to lead the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, Modern Healthcare reported, citing former CMS official Cindy Mann as its source.

Neale, who is currently executive director of the United States Congress Joint Economic Committee, previously served as the healthcare policy director under Mike Pence when he was the governor of Indiana. In that role, Neale worked with Seema Verma—who is awaiting confirmation on her nomination to head the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—to design the state’s Medicaid demonstration project known as Healthy Indiana (HIP) 2.0.

An alternative to Medicaid expansion approved by the Obama administration, HIP 2.0 requires enrollees to contribute a small amount of health insurance premiums each month to a special health account, and has a complex set of rules to encourage beneficiaries to save money and use preventive care.

In an email to FierceHealthcare, a CMS spokesperson said the agency is currently unable to confirm matters related to personnel.

Meanwhile, Verma is moving closer to being confirmed as the agency’s new leader. The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday took a preliminary vote to advance her nomination to the full Senate, but will need to vote again today, as not all members were present for Wednesday’s vote and it ended in a tie.  

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include a statement from CMS.