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GAO Makes MedPAC Appointments

WASHINGTON, DC (May 26, 2022) – Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), today announced the appointment of five new members to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), as well as the reappointment of two current members, one of whom will serve as Vice Chair.

“MedPAC provides key insights and advice to Congress on a wide range of Medicare issues,” Dodaro said. “This year, we again received applications from many highly qualified candidates interested in serving on the Commission, and I am confident today’s appointees will do excellent work on the critical issues facing the Medicare program.” 

The newly appointed members whose terms begin in May 2022 and will expire in April 2025 are Robert A. Cherry, MD, MS, Chief Medical and Quality Officer at UCLA Health in Los Angeles, CA; Kenny Kan, FSA, CPA, CFA, MAAA, Vice President and Chief Actuary of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield in Newark, NJ; Gregory P. Poulsen, MBA, Senior Vice President at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, UT; and Scott Sarran, MD, Chief Medical Officer at MoreCare in Cook County, ILIn addition, Cheryl L. Damberg, PhD, Director of the RAND Center of Excellence on Health System Performance, distinguished chair in Health Care Payment Policy, and a principal senior economist at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA was newly appointed to serve out the remaining term of Jonathan Perlin (who recently resigned), which will expire in 2024.

The reappointed members, whose terms will expire in April 2025, are Lawrence Casalino, MD, PhD, Professor of Public Health and Population Health Sciences at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, NY, and Amol Navathe, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Co-Director of the Healthcare Transformation Institute, and Associate Director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Navathe will serve as Vice Chair. Members whose terms expired in April are Vice Chairman Paul B. Ginsburg, PhD; Brian DeBusk, PhD; Bruce Pyenson, FSA, MAAA; and Pat Wang, JD.

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 providers in Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service programs and to health plans participating in the Medicare Advantage program. The Comptroller General is responsible for naming new commission members.

For more information about MedPAC, contact James Mathews, 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.

Brief biographies of the new commission members follow:

Robert A. Cherry, MD, MS, is Chief Medical and Quality Officer at UCLA Health in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Cherry has extensive experience in quality and safety improvements and value-based care within health systems located in different parts of the United States. He has coordinated innovative analytical methods to increase clinical quality of care, improve patient experience, and provide value to health care patients. He also has served on the Board of many organizations, including the California Community Foundation, and was appointed to the California Health Facilities Financing Authority, which assists nonprofit organizations with financing, construction, and remodeling of health facilities. A trauma and critical care surgeon, Dr. Cherry earned his medical degree from Columbia University and a Master in Health Care Management from Harvard University. 

Cheryl L. Damberg, PhD, is Director of the RAND Center of Excellence on Health System Performance, distinguished chair in Health Care Payment Policy, and a principal senior economist at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA. Her research explores the impact of strategies to drive cost and quality improvements in health care. She also studies how providers are redesigning health care delivery in response to new payment models and increased accountability and the effects of health care consolidation on health care spending and quality performance.  Her work has focused on improving the design of value-based payment systems to address disparities and improve health equity.  Dr. Damberg is an international expert in pay-for-performance and value-based payment reforms and has advised Congress and federal agencies on these and other issues. She earned her PhD in Public Policy from the Pardee RAND Graduate School of Public Policy Studies.

Kenny Kan, FSA, CPA, CFA, MAAA, is Vice President and Chief Actuary of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of New Jersey in Newark, NJ where he recently helped launch a Medicare Advantage plan. Prior to joining Horizon BCBS, Mr. Kan was Chief Actuary for two other large health plans, where he oversaw efforts to assess payment and delivery innovations designed to improve quality and reduce cost. He also served for six years on the Maryland Health Care Commission. He is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. Mr. Kan earned his Master in Professional Accounting from the University of Texas.

Gregory P. Poulsen, MBA, is Senior Vice President at Intermountain Healthcare, an integrated health system based in Salt Lake City, UT. He has vast experience in strategy and policy for providing higher quality health care while reducing health care costs. In addition, Mr. Poulsen was a key architect of many innovations at Intermountain Healthcare, including offering a Medicare Advantage plan and assisting with the transition to a value-based integrated health care delivery system. Mr. Poulsen was a founding member of the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System as well as a member of several other value-focused boards and task forces. He earned his Master of Business Administration from Brigham Young University.

Scott Sarran, MD, is Chief Medical Officer at MoreCare, a company that provides Medicare Advantage plans to beneficiaries in Cook County, IL, including Special Needs Plans. Dr. Sarran has vast experience in developing and implementing multi-stakeholder models of care, including experience in engaging stakeholders to improve clinical outcomes, service, access, and cost management for certain populations. In addition, he developed and implemented strategies to increase performance at a large county-run health system. A geriatrician, Dr. Sarran earned his medical degree from Northwestern University.


The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, is an independent, nonpartisan agency that 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 assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO provides Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonideological, fair, and balanced. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.

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