Former Anthem executive and palliative care entrepreneur Brad Smith to lead CMMI

Medicare written on paper with a stethoscope
The Trump administration has chosen Brad Smith, a former Anthem executive and Tennessee-based entrepreneur, to be the new head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. (Getty/Designer491)

The Trump administration has selected Brad Smith to serve as the director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), where he will oversee the creation and stewardship of value-based payment models.

Smith most recently was the chief operating officer of Anthem’s Diversified Business Group, a division of the insurance giant that includes provider services. He was also the co-founder and CEO of palliative care services company Aspire Health.

“Brad’s experience thinking outside-the-box to improve healthcare as a successful entrepreneur, along with his stellar academic and policy background, have prepared him well to lead CMMI,” said Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, in a statement.

CMMI, which was created by the Affordable Care Act, is responsible for testing and implementing various payment and service models, particularly centered on the shift toward value-based care.

“Paying for outcomes rather than procedures through CMMI models is an important tool for the value-based transformation of healthcare that President Trump has prioritized,” said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

RELATED: Adam Boehler speaks on what's next as he reflects on CMMI tenure

Smith has also worked for former Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker and Gov. Bill Haslam.

“Brad has exactly the right experience to lead a center charged with coming up with innovative ways to lower health care costs and improve quality,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, in a statement. “He has founded a successful health care company and knows how state and federal governments work.”

Smith is replacing former director Adam Boehler, who left the center in October to helm a new foreign aid office.

During Boehler’s tenure, the center launched 16 new payment models that include massive reforms to primary care payments and an overhaul to kidney care. In a session at HLTH in October, Boehler teased that the industry would be pleased with Smith, who had been selected to succeed him, though he didn't give away details about the man in question at the time.

Boehler said was involved in the search for his replacement.

“They’ll not only continue what we’ve done but come up with their own individual spin,” Boehler said. 

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