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Berwick v. Hatch, Enzi & the Gang of 42. Lunatics 1, America 0

Reprinted in portion below:

Berwick’s resignation a signal of a faulty political system

via Healthcare Finance News by Stephanie Bouchard

WASHINGTON – It came as a surprise to no one that Donald Berwick, MD, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, would not be carrying on in the position once his term ended on Dec. 31, but many were surprised last week when he announced his resignation would be effective on Dec. 2.

[See also: Berwick to step down at CMS, Obama nominates Tavenner .]

While much of the focus now is on Berwick’s replacement – the Obama administration is nominating Marilyn Tavenner, a nurse who is the principal deputy and chief operating officer at CMS and has already served as CMS’ acting administrator prior to Berwick’s appointment – some in the industry are reflecting on Berwick’s departure and the larger issues it signifies: a political system that is too polarized to be effective.

Berwick’s resignation – and the opposition he faced in Congress – is an example of the shallowness of our political system said John Chessare, MD, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. “He gave the American people a gift,” said Chessare, who calls Berwick his mentor. “He accepted President Obama’s request to do it (become CMS administrator) and then because of the foolishness and the pettiness of our national political system, he’s leaving.”

“While I do support his vision for making healthcare more patient centered, focusing on decreasing hospital mistakes and errors and making healthcare more affordable for everyone, I’m more disappointed that he’s become a casualty in the political struggle over Obama’s signature healthcare reform law,” said Andrew Spanswick, MSW, chairman and CEO of KLEAN, a residential treatment center in West Hollywood, Calif.

The much acknowledged “problem” with Berwick wasn’t his qualifications – he spent 30 years at the forefront of healthcare innovation and improvement…

Read complete article, here

Follow HFN associate editor Stephanie Bouchard on Twitter @SBouchardHFN.

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