Adam Boehler officially named new CMMI director

In an email to CMS staff, agency administrator Seema Verma announced Adam Boehler, CEO of home-based care startup Landmark Health, has been named the new head of the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Innovation (CMMI).

Boehler’s selection has been rumored for months. He doesn’t bring any government experience, with his resume mostly centered on venture capital and startups. Before founding Landmark Health, he was running another healthcare startup, lab management company Accumen. Other past roles include executive vice president and general manager at analytics provider MedeFinance and a principal healthcare investor at Accretive.

“Adam is widely regarded as an innovative leader in the private sector and in him we are lucky to have someone who has designed and implemented new, patient-focused approaches to healthcare delivery,” Verma wrote to CMS staff.

How exactly Trump administration officials will utilize CMMI remains an open question. Created under the Obama administration, the center was the driving force behind sometimes-controversial experiments with Medicaid and Medicare payment models. Some of those plans were rolled back under Verma and former HHS Secretary Tom Price, like their cancellation of several mandatory bundled payment models for cardiac and orthopedic care.

Since then, CMS has collected comments on a “new direction” for CMMI, with the promise the center would focus on mandatory models in the future. The second HHS Secretary under President Donald Trump, Alex Azar, has a different opinion on mandatory payment experiments, saying in one of his confirmation hearings he would support them if it was necessary to “get adequate data.”