Brad Smith to head CMS innovation center

Brad Smith will serve as director of CMS' Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation and senior adviser to HHS Secretary Alex Azar for value-based transformation, HHS and CMS announced.

Mr. Smith told The Tennesseean the job will primarily focus on driving value-based care transformation in the U.S.

"It's a really exciting opportunity," he said during an interview with the newspaper. "I feel honored to have the opportunity to go to D.C. and work on these problems for a few years. I am excited to get advice and feedback from folks all across the country on the things we can do to make a difference."

Mr. Smith, a former Rhodes scholar and Nashville, Tenn.-based entrepreneur, comes to the leadership position after serving as COO of Anthem’s Diversified Business Group. He also co-founded and was CEO of palliative care provider Aspire Health.

The CMS innovation center, which was created by the ACA, tests payment and service delivery models that aim to improve healthcare  and lower its cost.

At the innovation center Mr. Smith will be responsible for about 600 employees who will work on developing the healthcare models, he told The Tennesseean.  

Mr. Smith's "experience thinking outside the box to improve healthcare as a successful entrepreneur, along with his stellar academic and policy background," have prepared him for the leadership position, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in news release.

"I am excited that we have selected Brad to join the ranks of CMS and help us build on the important work the Trump administration has undertaken to transform our healthcare system to deliver better value to patients," she added. 

Mr. Smith will replace Adam Boehler, who left HHS last year when President Donald Trump nominated him to lead the International Development Finance Corp. 


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