Seema Verma

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Seema Verma
Seema Verma official photo.jpg
Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Assumed office
March 14, 2017
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Andy Slavitt
Personal details
Political party Republican
Education University of Maryland,
College Park
(BS)
Johns Hopkins University
(MPH)
Awards Sagamore of the Wabash (2016)[1]

Seema Verma is an American health policy consultant and the current Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, serving in the Trump Administration.[2] She is the founder and previous CEO of SVC Inc., a health policy consulting firm, now known as Health Management Associates (HMA).

Education[edit]

Verma received her bachelor's degree in life sciences from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1993. She earned a master's degree in public health with a concentration in health policy and management from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 1996.[3] A graduate of the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series, she was also selected for the American Enterprise Institute's Leadership Network.[1]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Verma worked for the Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County as vice president of planning[4] and at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials in Washington, DC.[2]

SVC Inc.[edit]

Verma founded the health policy consulting firm SVC Inc. in June 2001. She is president and CEO of the company, which has worked with state insurance agencies and public health agencies in preparation for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and assisted Indiana and Kentucky, as well as other states, in the design of Medicaid expansion programs under the ACA.[2] In her work with Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky she developed Medicaid reform programs with the use of the Section 1115 waiver process.[5][6] The 1115 waiver, which needs to be approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), allows states to pursue customized programs that diverge from the standard program under ACA statutory guidelines. In the case of Ohio, the program ultimately was not implemented, because the CMS denied the state's 1115 waiver application;[5][6] Kentucky's application was still pending as of April 2017.[7][8] Verma's firm also provided technical assistance to the state of Michigan in the implementation of their 1115 Medicaid waiver, assisted Tennessee in their coverage expansion proposal, and supported Iowa's Medicaid transition to managed care.[9] Verma and SVC have worked with companies such as Electronic Data Systems (EDS), Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HP), Milliman, HighPoint Global, Roche Diagnostics, Health Management Associates (HMA), and Maximus.[10]

Verma established her reputation with her work on Indiana's redesigned Medicaid program.[6] She first worked with Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels on health care policy,[11] and was the architect of the health insurance pilot program known as the "Healthy Indiana Plan",[5] which received support from the Indiana legislature and passed into law in January 2008.[4] Designed for people with low income, the plan requires participants to pay into a health savings account and has high deductibles.[4] According to Verma, "you have to make your contribution every month, with a 60-day grace period. If you don't make the contribution, you're out of the program for 12 months. It's a strong personal responsibility mechanism."[12] Later, following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, in 2010, she worked with Daniels, and then his successor, Governor Mike Pence,[4] in creating the related "Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0", an alternative Medicaid expansion that utilizes the 1115 waiver.[5]

Verma's Trump transition portrait

In 2014, an article in The Indianapolis Star raised concerns over a potential conflict of interest arising from Verma's dual roles as both a health care consultant for Indiana and an employee of a Hewlett-Packard division that is among Indiana's largest Medicaid vendors.[4] As of 2014, SVC Inc. had been awarded over $3.5 million in Indiana state contracts. Verma was concurrently employed with Hewlett-Packard, earning over $1 million during a period when the company had secured $500 million in state contracts.[13]

Verma was a participant in the Republican Governor's Public Policy Committee on Medicaid reform.[14] She contributed to the report A New Medicaid: A Flexible, Innovative and Accountable Future. Verma has also presented to the Medicaid Task Force of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and provided testimony before the U.S. House Energy Subcommittee on Health.[14]

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services[edit]

On November 29, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump nominated Verma to serve as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Health Department agency that oversees Medicare, Medicaid, and the insurance markets.[15] On March 13, 2017, the United States Senate confirmed her nomination in a 55-43 vote.[16] One of her first actions was to send a letter to the nation's governors urging them to impose insurance premiums for Medicaid, charge Medicaid recipients for emergency room visits, and encourage recipients to get jobs or job training.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Born in Virginia, Verma moved several times across the United States with her family and once lived in Taiwan for five years before settling in the greater Indianapolis area.[18] Verma's husband, Sanjay, is a child psychiatrist who runs a medical practice through the Indiana Health Group.[19][19] The couple have two children - Maya and Shaan.[20] Verma and her family currently live in Carmel, Indiana.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hakim-Shabazz, Abdul (November 29, 2016). "Trump Picks HIP 2.0 Architect to Serve in Administration". Indy Politics. Archived from the original on November 30, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Pradhan, Rachana (November 29, 2016). "Trump picks Seema Verma to head Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services". Politico. 
  3. ^ "Donald Trump meets with Dr. [sic] Seema Verma, who may help in restructuring Obamacare". The American Bazaar. November 22, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Cook, Tony (August 26, 2014). "Seema Verma, powerful state health-care consultant, serves two bosses". The Indianapolis Star. Archived from the original on November 29, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d Newkirk, Vann R., II (February 17, 2017). "Seema Verma’s Austere Vision for Medicaid". The Atlantic. theatlantic.com. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Glenza, Jessica (December 4, 2016). "Trump's pick for key health post known for punitive Medicaid plan". The Guardian. theguardian.com. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  7. ^ "Key Themes in Section 115 Medicaid Expansion Waivers". Kaiser Family Foundation. kff.org. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  8. ^ "State Waivers List". www.medicaid.gov. Retrieved 2017-04-19. 
  9. ^ "Our Team: Seema Verma, MPH". SVC, Inc. Retrieved December 2, 2016. [better source needed]
  10. ^ "Questions for the Record "Hearing to Consider the Nomination of Seema Verma to be Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services" Before Senate Finance Committee" (PDF). February 16, 2017. 
  11. ^ Maurer, Katie (April 4, 2015). "Health insurance brokers turn focus to individuals". Indianapolis Business Journal. 
  12. ^ Quoted in: Roy, Anik (November 11, 2011). "Obama Administration Denies Waiver for Indiana's Popular Medicaid Program. Forbes. forbes.com. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  13. ^ Cook, Tony (December 12, 2014). "5 loopholes in Indiana's ethics laws". The Indianapolis Star. 
  14. ^ a b "Some Quick Facts About Seema Verma, Nominated to Head CMS". Managed Care Magazine. November 29, 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 
  15. ^ Sanger-Katz, Margot (December 1, 2016). "A Trump Pick, and Why Indiana's Strict Medicaid Rules Could Spread". The New York Times. 
  16. ^ "On the Nomination PN49: Seema Verma, of Indiana, to be Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services". GovTrack. March 13, 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2017. 
  17. ^ On first day in office, new Medicaid chief urges states to charge premiums, prod recipients to get jobs. By Amy Goldstein, Washington Post, March 15, 2017.
  18. ^ a b "Seema Verma: A Carmel Resident in Charge of American Healthcare". Carmel Monthly Magazine. Carmel, Indiana. 30 August 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2018. 
  19. ^ a b "Senate Finance Committee Hearing on Seema Verma Confirmation". Policy and Medicine. 2017-02-27. Retrieved 2017-03-30. 
  20. ^ Clarke, Sara (March 15, 2017). "10 Things You Didn't Know About Seema Verma". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Andy Slavitt
Acting
Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
2017–present
Incumbent