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AHIP Snags Former CMS Administrator Tavenner to Head Trade Group

By Rebecca Adams, CQ Roll Call

July 15, 2015 -- Former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner will succeed Karen Ignagni as president and CEO at America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).

"There is no better individual than Marilyn to lead our industry through the increasingly complex health care transformation that is underway," said AHIP Board Chairman Mark Ganz in a statement after the board unanimously elected Tavenner. "As the unifying voice for our industry, AHIP and its members are uniquely positioned to address the pressing health care challenges facing consumers, and Marilyn is a recognized leader who brings the experience, tenacity, and dedication to achieve our advocacy goals and to move the health system forward in a way that is patient-centered."

Tavenner said she is "honored to join this association and to lead this industry that is deeply committed to improving care delivery and affordability for individuals and families."

The announcement comes weeks after the nation's largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group, announced it would quit AHIP as of June 30. United is one of the founding members of the Better Medicare Alliance, a group that was created in December to advocate for higher payments to private Medicare Advantage plans. Former Democratic congresswoman Allyson Y. Schwartz was recently named president and CEO. The other major funders of the alliance are Humana and Aetna Inc.

Ignagni, who had been a top lobbyist for the industry for 22 years, left AHIP earlier this summer to take the helm at EmblemHealth in New York. AHIP Interim CEO Dan Durham led the trade association after Ignagni's departure.

Before leading CMS, Tavenner was Secretary of Health and Human Services for the state of Virginia. She held a number of executive roles with the Hospital Corporation of America, where she was president of HCA's Central Atlantic Division as well as group president of Outpatient Services. She will take the helm of the insurers' group on Aug. 24.


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