Top CMS Official to Step Down in July

Steve Larsen, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Center for Consumser Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), an agency that has played a key role in overseeing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), will resign from his position some time in July.
by | June 15, 2012

Steve Larsen, director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), an agency that has played a key role in overseeing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), will resign from his position some time in July.

In a staff email obtained by Governing, CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said that Larsen had informed her of his decision to step down in mid-July. Michael Hash, who had previously served as the director of the HHS Office of Health Reform, will take over as interim CCIIO director while CMS searches for a permanent replacement, Tavenner said in the email.

"Steve has been an instrumental part of our senior leadership team and I am deeply grateful for his dedication to our work to implement the Affordable Care Act," Tavenner told her staff in the email.

Larsen has headed CCIIO since its inception in 2010. He had previously served as the Maryland Insurance Commissioner from 1997 to 2003.

CCIIO has been responsible for numerous functions related to the ACA's implementation, including the administration of the $1 billion in health exchange establishment grants that have been awarded to 34 states to set up the online insurance marketplaces mandated by the law.

News of Larsen's resignation comes just days before the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the ACA.

According to the Washington Post's "Who Runs Gov" database, Hash was a primary liason between HHS and the White House during the drafting of the health-care reform law. He then took his position with the Office of Health Reform after the law passed.

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