Brad Smith named as new CMMI director

HHS and CMS have announced Brad Smith will serve as the new director for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation at CMS and senior advisor to HHS Secretary Alex Azar for value-based transformation. Smith was rumored to be the next pick to lead the agency’s centers following the departure of its former head Adam Boehler.

CMMI is the testing ground for CMS for pilot models and demonstration projects that aims to improve care, lower costs and support patient-centered practices across the healthcare system.

“Brad will help HHS and CMS continue and accelerate the value-based transformation work that we have begun under President Trump,” said Secretary Azar. "…Brad has impressive experience with innovative care delivery and paying for value, and he will help expand Administrator Verma’s and CMS’s efforts to ensure Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries are getting better care, and better health, at a lower cost.”

Smith was most recently the chief operating officer of Anthem’s diversified business group. Anthem is the largest for-profit managed care business in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, with roughly 40 million members. Smith was also formerly CEO of Aspire Health, a home-based palliative care services company.

“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 and bring innovative solutions to our healthcare system’s most pressing challenges,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement.

Former CMMI director Boehler left his position in July 2019 to lead the International Development Finance Corporation, a group that coordinates foreign aid and investment.