Former CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner named CEO of AHIP

Marilyn Tavenner, the former Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator, has been named the new president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). 

In an announcement Wednesday, Tavenner, whose role is effective Aug. 24, tells the New York Times that "this is a great opportunity," and that "AHIP has a longstanding reputation as focused on consumers and consumer advocacy, and being a leader in the transformation of healthcare."

Tavenner--who resigned from CMS earlier this year--will replace former CEO Karen Ignagni, who left the industry's largest trade group back in May and recently assumed the role of CEO of New York-based insurer EmblemHealth.

Tavenner tells the Times that because of federal rules, she is unable to lobby the agency or other parts of the Department of Health and Human Services in the remaining months of President Barack Obama's administration.

Tavenner's selection portrays how federal health programs have become a priority for health insurers and lawmakers.

Moving forward, insurers will look to Tavenner to help "them cope with the consolidation of doctor groups and hospitals, a trend that gives healthcare providers more leverage in negotiations with insurers," notes the article.

Tavenner was a key player during implementation of the Affordable Care Act--not only did she and her staff write many of the rules that went into creating the ACA, but she was also involved with the botched rollout of last fall and later apologized to Congress for the site's performance, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

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