Azar taps Landmark Health CEO Adam Boehler as CMS' innovation chief

Alex Azar
HHS Secretary Alex Azar announced several new appointments, including Adam Boehler, who will take over CMMI. (Wwsgconnect)

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has named a successful healthcare entrepreneur to lead the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Innovation Center. 

Adam Boehler, the founder and former CEO of Landmark Health, will join the department next week as the deputy administrator and director of the center. Landmark is a medical group that uses a technology platform to deliver medical services to complex and chronically ill patients at home.

The CMS Innovation Center supports the development and testing of new healthcare payment and service delivery models. Created under the Obama Administration through the Affordable Care Act, the center has faced some troubles under the Trump administration including some recent turnaround concerns, Politico reported last month. 

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Last year, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said she wants to take the center in a "new direction" and requested industry input about how it should test payment models in eight different areas. Several provider and IT groups responded by calling on the agency to integrate data and health technology into new payment approaches. 

RELATED: CMS wants 'new direction' for its innovation center, but lawmakers say it is an attempt to undermine Medicare

Azar also recently told staff at CMS that he and Verma have been instructed by President Donald Trump to come up with "big solutions" in healthcare, The Washington Post reported.

Boehler had been a rumored contender for the job in recent months. He is also the founder of Avalon Healthcare Solutions, a company which provides lab benefit management services, and Trellis Rx, a company that partners with health systems to fund, build and operate specialty pharmacies. Boehler was formerly an operating partner at Francisco Partners, a global private equity firm focused on healthcare technology and services investing.

Boehler also led sessions during a meeting hosted by the White House Office of American Innovation last year to discuss issues around interoperability.

RELATED: White House interoperability meeting focuses on regulatory relief, barriers to data sharing

Last week, Azar appointed former CVS Health executive Dan Best to oversee the agency's efforts on drug pricing reform. Best recently served as corporate vice president of industry relations for CVS Health's Medicare Part D business and was previously at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Azar also named HHS Deputy General Council Heather Flick the new acting assistant secretary for the administration.