The president’s nominee to become the new head of CMS faced confirmation hearings last week before the Senate Finance Committee. If confirmed, Kerry N. Weems, now deputy chief of staff to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt, would replace Acting Administrator Leslie Norwalk, who has already left the agency.
Taking place just days before the original July 27 competitive-bidding deadline, the hearing gave committee-member Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) the chance to press Weems on the need for a delay. While Weems responded that he didn’t have the authority to delay the deadline, the agency nonetheless did exactly that on Friday.
During the hearing, Weems said that, as CMS administrator, he would be “sensitive to the needs of health care providers who care for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and in particular to the impact of CMS regulations on those industries.” He also said he would “intensify oversight of the agency, be more responsive to congressional requests for information, and resist political interference.”