(Interview) Effective, Efficient Public Service | Seema Verma, Former Administrator, CMS
This episode is hosted by Her Story Advisory Council Member Sanjula Jain, Ph.D., SVP, Market Strategy & Chief Research Officer, Trilliant Health. Sanjula speaks with Seema Verma, Former Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). They discussed Verma’s tenure at CMS, and noted difficulties and opportunities related to lowering the costs of healthcare at a national scale.
At CMS, Seema Verma was the architect of CMS’s strategic vision, implementing over sixteen tactical initiatives aimed at transforming the American healthcare system to lower costs, improve quality, and increase access. During her tenure, Verma led federal government efforts to infuse market competition, empower patients, and unleash innovation producing historic reforms. She also drove efforts to require price and quality transparency while ensuring patients have ownership over their portable medical records.
Verma’s historic “Patients Over Paperwork” initiative reduced regulatory burden and saved the healthcare system billions of dollars. Verma also worked to accelerate value-based care transformation and address the social determinants of health by advancing new payment models throughout CMS programs, including models for drug pricing that resulted in lower insulin prices. Under her leadership, premiums dropped in Medicare Advantage, Part D, and the insurance exchanges. In response to COVID-19, she led industry-changing efforts to drive telehealth and remote care across the healthcare system while creating flexibility for health providers to augment the health care workforce, expand services and testing, and ensure access to vaccines and therapeutics.
Prior to CMS, Verma was the founder and CEO of a health policy consulting firm helping states and private industry on a range of healthcare issues. Verma received her BS in life sciences from the University of Maryland and her Master’s Degree in Public Health (MPH) with a concentration in health policy and management from Johns Hopkins University.