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GAO Makes MedPAC Appointments


WASHINGTON, DC (May 30, 2013) – Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), today announced the appointment of one new member and the reappointment of five existing members to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).

“MedPAC plays an important role in ensuring the effective stewardship of Medicare, a key federal responsibility. This year’s MedPAC nominees were exceptionally well qualified, and we are pleased that we had such an outstanding pool of individuals to draw from,” said Dodaro.


The newly appointed member is Jon B. Christianson, PhD, Professor in the Division of Health Policy and Management at the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. His term will expire in April 2016.


The reappointed members, whose terms will also expire in April 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; 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.


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 April 2015 are Alice Coombs, MD, Critical Care Specialist and Anesthesiologist, South Shore Hospital, Weymouth, MA; Glenn M. Hackbarth, JD (Chair); 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, MI; Rita Redberg, MD, Professor, Clinical Medicine, University of California at San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco, CA; and Craig Samitt, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dean Health System, Inc., Madison, WI.


Commissioners whose terms will expire in April 2014 are Peter W. Butler, MHSA, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Rush University Medical Center; Michael Chernew, PhD, (Vice Chair) Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School; Willis D. Gradison, Jr., MBA, 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 George N. Miller, Jr., MHSA, Chief Executive Officer, Okmulgee Memorial Hospital, Okmulgee, OK.


Below is a brief biography of the new commission member. 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.

Jon B. Christianson, PhD, is the James A. Hamilton 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. His research has addressed the areas of health finance, payment structures, rural health care, managed care payment, and the quality and design of care systems. Dr. Christianson serves on the Institute of Medicine’s Board on Health Care Services and on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Managed Care. He recently served on the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Geographic Adjustment Factors in Medicare Payment and has chaired AcademyHealth's Annual Research Meeting. Dr. Christianson received his PhD in economics from the University of Wisconsin.


The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities. GAO also works to improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the American people. The agency examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other data to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.



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GAO Fills Vacancy on HIT Committee


WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 20, 2013) — Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), today announced the appointment of Alicia Staley to the Health Information Technology (HIT) Policy Committee. Staley will fill one of three committee positions held by advocates for patients or consumers.