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Press Release GAO Makes Appointments to New HHS Advisory Committee on Physician Payment Models

WASHINGTON, DC (October 9, 2015) - Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), today announced the first appointments to the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 established this committee to provide comments and recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on physician payment models, giving the Comptroller General responsibility for appointing the committee’s 11 members.

“This committee will be a critical source of information and advice for the Secretary of Health and Human Services as the department considers new payment approaches for Medicare physician services,” Dodaro said. “We were extremely impressed by the caliber of the nominations received for the new committee, and it is with great pleasure that I announce today’s appointees.”

The terms of the committee members are intended to be staggered, with the first set of appointments for terms of 1, 2, or 3 years. Committee members may be appointed for subsequent 3-year terms. 

Jeffrey Bailet, MD, otolaryngologist and President, Aurora Health Care Medical Group; Robert Berenson, MD,Institute Fellow, Urban Institute; Elizabeth Mitchell, President and CEO, Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement; and Kavita Patel, MD, doctor of internal medicine and Nonresident Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution,are appointed for a 3-year term that expires in October, 2018.  Rhonda M. Medows, MD, Executive Vice President of Population Health, Providence Health & Services; Harold D. Miller, President and CEO, Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform; Len Nichols, PhD, Director, Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics, George Mason University; and Grace Terrell, MD, MMM, doctor of internal medicine and President and CEO, Cornerstone Health Care, are appointed for a 2-year term that expires in October, 2017.  Paul Casale, MD, MPH, interventional cardiologist and Chief of Cardiology, Lancaster General Health; Tim Ferris, MD, primary care internal medicine physician and Senior Vice President for Population Health Management, Partners HealthCare; and Bruce Steinwald, MBA, private consultant, are appointed for a 1-year term that expires in October, 2016. 

Brief biographies of the appointees are provided below:

Jeffrey Bailet, MD, is an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) and President of the Aurora Health Care Medical Group, a multi-specialty medical group consisting of 1,700 physicians and 800 advanced practice clinicians staffing more than 150 clinics and 15 hospitals across eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. He also serves as Chair of the Aurora Physician Compensation Committee, where he develops and oversees compensation arrangements for the group’s physicians, specialists, and advanced practice clinicians. Dr. Bailet previously served as the CEO of Associated Healthcare Consultants and President of Northwest Specialty Physicians. He received his medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Robert Berenson, MD, is an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute, in Washington, D.C.  He also serves as a Board Member of Catalyst for Payment Reform and Health Connect ACO, and is a member of the Wellpoint Physician Advisory Council. He previously served as a commissioner on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. Prior positions include Director for the Center for Health Plans and Providers in the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); Acting Deputy Administrator for HCFA; Vice President of the Lewin Group; and founder and medical director of the National Capital Preferred Provider Organization. Dr. Berenson received his medical degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and practiced general internal medicine for 20 years in Washington, D.C.

Paul Casale, MD, MPH, is an interventional cardiologist and Chief of Cardiology at Lancaster General Health, a 630-bed community hospital in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Temple University School of Medicine and Senior Scholar in the Department of Health Policy at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University.  Dr. Casale serves as the Chair of both the Data Systems Committee of the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council and the Physician Leadership Advisory Group of the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, and previously served as Co-Chair of the Brookings-Dartmouth Workgroup on Payment Reform. He received his medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College and his master of public health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Tim Ferris, MD, practices primary care internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He is also the Senior Vice President for Population Health Management at Partners HealthCare, a non-profit hospital and physicians’ network that includes Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Ferris previously served as Medical Director at the Mass General Physicians Organization, a multi-specialty medical group; Chair of the National Quality Forum’s Consensus Standards Approval Committee; and a member of the Health Information Technology Policy Committee’s Quality Measures Workgroup. Dr. Ferris received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School.

Rhonda M. Medows, MD, is Executive Vice President of Population Health at Providence Health & Services, a health system providing clinical and hospital care in Alaska, California, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, and providing commercial insurance coverage in Oregon. Dr. Medows has served on multiple advisory and technical expert panels for the National Committee for Quality Assurance, the National Quality Forum, Medicare Star Ratings Work Groups, and the Chief Medical Officer Committee of America’s Health Insurance Plans. Prior positions include Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President at UnitedHealth Group, Secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care, and Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health. Dr. Medows received her medical degree from the Morehouse School of Medicine, practiced medicine at Mayo Clinic, and is board-certified in family medicine. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Harold D. Miller is President and CEO of the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform, a national policy center that develops and encourages implementation of national, state, and local strategies for improving the quality and reducing the cost of healthcare. He also serves as Adjunct Professor of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University. Prior positions include President and CEO of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement, President and CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, and Director of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of Policy Development. He received a master of science degree in Public Management and Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.

Elizabeth Mitchell is President and CEO of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement in Portland, Maine, which is comprised of more than 35 Regional Health Improvement Collaboratives—nonprofit, multi-stakeholder organizations working with stakeholders to improve health care quality and reduce costs across the United States. Prior positions include CEO of the Maine Health Management Coalition; Director of Public Affairs at The Nuffield Trust in London, England; and State Representative in the Maine State Legislature. She also served as a member of the board of directors of the National Quality Forum and of the National Business Coalition on Health and as a member of the Guiding Committee of the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network. Ms. Mitchell studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Cambridge University, and Reed College.

Len Nichols, PhD, is Director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics and a Professor of Health Policy at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia. He is the Principal Investigator on an evaluation of CareFirst’s Patient-Centered Medical Home Program, and is also directing other projects on payment reform and disparities, efficiency, and population health. He was an Innovation Advisor to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at CMS. Dr. Nichols previously served as Vice President of the Center for Studying Health System Change, Principal Research Associate at the Urban Institute, and Senior Advisor for Health Policy at the Office of Management and Budget. He received his PhD in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kavita Patel, MD, is a doctor of internal medicine practicing at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution—a think-tank that provides research and policy recommendations and analysis on a range of public policy issues, including healthcare. She previously served as Director of Policy for the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement and Deputy Staff Director for Health for Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Dr. Patel was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and is a Society of General Internal Medicine Advisory Board Member for the National Commission on Physician Payment Reform. She received her medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center.

Bruce Steinwald, MBA, is a consultant in Washington, D.C., with expertise in health economics, health policy and financing, and Medicare payment issues. Prior positions include Director for Health Care Issues at GAO, Senior Fellow at the National Health Policy Forum, Vice President of Covance Health Economics and Outcomes Services Inc., and Deputy Director of the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission. Mr. Steinwald received his MBA in Hospital Administration from the University of Chicago.

Grace Terrell, MD, MMM, is a doctor of internal medicine and the President and CEO of Cornerstone Health Care, a multi-specialty group of more than 375 physicians and advanced practice providers providing care in central North Carolina. She also serves as President and CEO of CHESS, a population health management company that focuses on helping health systems transition to value-based medicine. Dr. Terrell is on the board of the American Medical Group Association and the Credentials Committee for the Certifying Commission in Medical Management, and she has served on the Innovator’s Committee of the American Medical Association. She received her medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine and her Master of Medical Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

For more information, contact Mary Giffin on GAO’s Health Care Team at (202) 512-7114 or GAO’s Office of Public Affairs at (202) 512-4800, or visit the GAO Health Care Advisory Committees web page at


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