Trump Names Rep. Price as HHS Secretary

President elect also taps healthcare policy consultant Verma as CMS administrator.

Pres.-elect Donald Trump has named Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), a longtime congressional champion of the home medical equipment industry, as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services.

“It is an honor to be nominated to serve our nation as Secretary of Health and Human Services,” Price said. “Thanks to Pres.-elect Trump and Vice Pres.-elect Pence for their confidence. I am humbled by the incredible challenges that lay ahead and enthusiastic for the opportunity to be a part of solving them on behalf of the American people.”

In addition to the Price appointment, Pres.-elect Trump also named Seema Verma, founder and president of healthcare policy consulting firm SVC Inc. to serve as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“I am honored to be nominated by Pres.-elect Trump today,” Verma said. “I look forward to helping him tackle our nation's daunting healthcare problems in a responsible and sustainable way.”

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.; center) receiving an HME industry advocacy award from AAHomecare President and CEO Tom Ryan (right), VGM Government Relations' John Gallagher (second form right), and AAHomecare's Jay Witter (left) on Nov. 2 at the Medtrade conference and exposition in Atlanta.

Price has continually acted as an HME industry ally, and perhaps has been the House’s biggest supporter of the Market Pricing Program alternative to competitive bidding. Recently, Price was recognized for his industry support at this year’s Medtrade conference and expo. During an update on the effort to reform the national expansion of competitive bidding, Price received an HME advocacy award from the American Association for Homecare’s President and CEO Tom Ryan and Vice President of Government Relations Jay Witter, as well as VGM Government Relations Vice President John Gallagher.

After learning the news of Price’s appointment, Ryan touted Price’s background and lauded his industry support, and welcomed the opportunity to continue working with Price in his new role.

“With a background as a successful orthopedic surgeon and as a professor at one of our nation’s leading medical schools, Dr. Price is perhaps the best-informed member of Congress on healthcare issues,” Ryan said in a statement from AAHomecare. “He’s been a powerful voice in Congress in support of efforts to ensure that all Americans have access to high quality healthcare, and I expect he will be even more influential and effective as a leader in the new Administration.

“Over the past year, Dr. Price has been at the forefront of congressional efforts to make sure that individuals who rely on home medical equipment in rural communities and other less-densely populated areas can get the products and services they need,” he continued. “The home medical equipment community, as well as HME patients and their caregivers, owe him a debt of gratitude for his leadership and effectiveness on this issue.”

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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