- America's Health Insurance Plans named former CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner as its new president and CEO on Wednesday.
- Tavenner, who only left CMS six months ago, will replace Karen Ignagni, who vacated the position for a role at New York-based EmblemHealth this spring.
- Tavenner will take over the position on August 24.
Tavenner's authority will be somewhat limited until the Obama administration leave office: She said Wednesday that she will not lobby CMS or other parts of the Department of Health and Human Services while Obama is still in office because of federal conflict-of-interest rules.
The selection of a former government official—especially such an influential one—sends a clear message about the trade group's focus. With Medicare (especially the rapidly-growing Medicare Advantage program) and other forms of federal revenue becoming increasingly important to private payers, AHIP is clearly looking for a leader who can help it navigate still-evolving federal health programs and cope with an administration that is starting to play hardball in its demands on the industry.