CMS’ Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Chief Bella to Step Down
January 6, 2015 11:36 AM
Inside Health Policy is reporting that CMS’ Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Chief Melanie Bella will leave her position at the end of January. This is the second high-level vacancy CMS will have come late January. CMS’ Medicaid Chief Cindy Mann also announced her decision to leave CMS recently.
According to the Inside Health Policy report:
“Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office Chief Melanie Bella will leave CMS at the end of January, marking the second high-level departure from the agency in early 2015 alongside CMS Medicaid Chief Cindy Mann. Mann will also step down in late January.
CMS says that Tim Engelhardt, director of the models, demonstrations and analysis group in the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office, will be acting director while the agency looks for a permanent replacement.
Bella served as the first head of the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination office, and CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner credited Bella in an email to staff with establishing the office and running it for more than four years.
Bella also oversaw the design of the demonstration to coordinate care for those dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the initial implementation in states like Massachusetts, Illinois, California and others. There have been some concerns around automatic or "passive enrollment" into the demonstrations, as well as concerns about doctors convincing patients to opt out of the program.
Prior to working with CMS, Bella was the senior vice president for policy and operations at the Center for Health Care Strategies and worked to integrate care for complex populations, including dual eligibles.
Once these positions at CMS are filled, NAHC Report will announce who has taken over these responsibilities within the organization.