Veteran of Obama Health Agency Tapped to Head Medicare Program


July 6, 2021 11:18 am

An Obama-era veteran of the Affordable Care Act wars and surgeon will take charge of the nation’s Medicare program under President Joe Biden, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced.

Meena Seshamani, a head-and-neck surgeon who most recently was vice president of clinical care transformation at MedStar Health, became deputy administrator of CMS and director of the Center for Medicare Tuesday.

MedStar is a 10-hospital health system in the Washington, D.C. area.

“Dr. Meena Seshamani brings her diverse background as a health-care executive, health economist, physician and health policy expert to CMS,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “Providing quality health care to the people who rely on Medicare and advancing health equity as we do it is a priority for CMS. I am delighted to say Dr. Seshamani will bring her unique perspective on how health policy impacts the real lives of patients to her leadership role as Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicare.”

Seshamani has decades of policy experience under her belt, She served as director of the Office of Health Reform under President Barack Obama, where she helped lead implementation of the ACA, including coverage policy, delivery-system reform, and public-health policy, the CMS said. 

She also served as Biden administration’s transition team for the Department of Health and Human Services.

At MedStar, Seshamani helped design and carry out population-health and value-based care initiatives in the areas of community health, geriatrics, and palliative care.

She also cared for patients as an assistant professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, the CMS said.