Press Release

GAO Makes MedPAC Appointments, Designates Chair

WASHINGTON, DC (May 21, 2015) – Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), today announced the appointment of a new member to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), as well as the reappointment of five current members and the designation of the Commission’s Chair.

“When it comes to the future of Medicare, MedPAC serves a very important advisory role. A number of extremely strong applicants expressed an interest in serving on the Commission, and I am very pleased to name this latest appointment,” said Dodaro.

The newly appointed member is Susan Thompson, MS, RN, Senior Vice President of Integration and Optimization with UnityPoint Health and Chief Executive Officer of UnityPoint Health in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Her term will expire in April 2018.

The reappointed members, whose terms will also expire in April 2018, are Alice Coombs, MD, Critical Care Specialist and Anesthesiologist, South Shore Hospital, Weymouth, Massachusetts; Jack Hoadley, PhD, Research Professor, Health Policy Institute, Georgetown University, Washington, DC; David Nerenz, PhD, Director of the Center for Health Policy and Health Services Research, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Michigan; Rita Redberg, MD, Professor, Clinical Medicine, University of California at San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco, California; and Craig Samitt, MD, Global Provider Practice Leader in Oliver Wyman’s Health & Life Sciences Practice.

In addition, Commissioner Francis “Jay” Crosson, MD, has been designated as Chair of the Commission.

Congress established MedPAC in 1997 to analyze access to care, cost and quality of care, and other key issues affecting Medicare. MedPAC advises Congress on payments to health plans participating in the Medicare Advantage program and providers in Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service programs. The Comptroller General is responsible for naming new commission members.

Commissioners whose terms will expire in 2016 are Scott Armstrong, President and Chief Executive Officer of Group Health Cooperative; Katherine Baicker, PhD, Professor of Health Economics in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health; Jon B. Christianson, PhD, Chair in Health Policy and Management in the Division of Health Policy and Management at the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota (Vice Chair); Herb B. Kuhn, President and CEO, Missouri Hospital Association; Mary Naylor, PhD, RN, Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology and Director of the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing; and Cori Uccello, FSA, Senior Health Fellow of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Commissioners whose terms will expire in April 2017 are Kathy Buto, MPA; Francis “Jay” Crosson, MD; Willis D. Gradison, Jr., MBA, formerly a Scholar in Residence in the Health Sector Management Program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business; William J. Hall, MD, Director of the Center for Healthy Aging at the University of Rochester School of Medicine; and Warner Thomas, MBA, President and CEO of the Ochsner Health System in New Orleans, Louisiana.

For more information about MedPAC, contact Mark Miller, MedPAC’s executive director, at (202) 220-3700. Other calls should be directed to Chuck Young in GAO’s Office of Public Affairs at (202) 512-4800. The official announcement will be published in the Federal Register.

A brief biography of the new commission member and the new Chair follows:

Susan Thompson, MS, RN, is Senior Vice President of Integration and Optimization with UnityPoint Health, an integrated delivery system serving Iowa, central and western Illinois, and central Wisconsin. She is also Chief Executive Officer of UnityPoint Health–Fort Dodge health system in Iowa, which serves a predominantly rural and aging population and includes a medical center, a sole community hospital, a clinic, a primary care and multispecialty physician group, management contracts with critical access hospitals throughout the region, and a Pioneer Accountable Care Organization. She previously served in successive clinical and management positions at Trinity Regional Medical Center, including as Intensive Care Staff Nurse, Director of Quality Systems, Assistant Director of Patient Focused Care, Chief Information Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Thompson obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and her Master of Science in Health Services Management from Clarkson College in Omaha, Nebraska.

Francis "Jay" Crosson, MD, spent 35 years as a physician and a physician executive at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California. He served in a number of positions with Kaiser Permanente, including Senior Fellow at the Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy, the Director of Public Policy for The Permanente Medical Group, Inc., and Executive Director of the Permanente Federation, LLC. He currently serves on the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and he served on MedPAC from 2004 to 2010, including as Vice Chair from 2009 to 2010. Dr. Crosson received his medical degree from the Georgetown University School of Medicine.


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