GAO Appoints Public Policy, Payment Experts to MedPAC


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By Thomas Beaton

– The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has appointed five new public policy and healthcare payment experts to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).

GAO chief Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States, is confident that the latest appointment of experts will support MedPAC in advising federal entities and lawmakers about Medicare’s fee-for-service and Medicare Advantage operations. The newly appointed members will serve MedPAC until their terms expire in April 2021.

“MedPAC provides valuable insight and advice to Congress on a myriad of Medicare issues,” Dodaro said. “I was heartened by the number of highly-qualified applicants who expressed interest in joining the Commission, and am pleased to announce these latest appointments.”

The newly appointed members include former National Coordinator for Health IT, Dr. Karen DeSalvo of the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas-Austin, Marjorie Ginsburg at the Center for Healthcare Decisions Inc., Dr. John Jafferty at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Dr. Jonathan Perlin the Chief Medical Officer at HCA Healthcare, and Dr. Jaewon Ryu the Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Geisinger Health System.

Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, is a professor of medicine and population health at the Dell Medical School where she supports leadership efforts to address the social determinants of health, community health, healthcare technology, and medical care. She previously served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Health and National Coordinator.

DeSalvo also recently joined Humana’s board of directors as a key advisor.

Marjorie Ginsburg, BSN, MPH, lead the Center for Healthcare Decisions from 1994 to 2016 where she designed and implemented projects focused on civic engagement around health policy issues. Her expertise in healthcare policy issues focuses on end-of-life care, health plan benefits design, and strategies to reduce unnecessary care utilization.

John Jaffery, MD, MS, MMM, is a professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as a practicing nephrologist.

Jaffery also serves as the chief population health officer at UW Health and as the President and CEO at UW Health ACO. He is primarily responsible for the development, coordination, and implementation of population health systems at UW Health.

Jonathan Perlin, MD, PhD, MSHA, has lead clinical and performance improvements at HCA Healthcare hospitals and other clinical care sites.

Before his tenure at HCA, Perlin was Under Secretary for Health at the VA. He is currently a member of the National Academy of Medicine as well as a faculty appointment at both Vanderbilt University and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Jaewon Ryu, MD, JD, currently works in a leadership role at Geisinger Health System and held previously leadership roles in other healthcare organizations. Ryu served at Humana, the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, and Kaiser Permanente.

Dodaro also re-appointed Susan Thompson, RN, Senior Vice President of Integration and Optimization with UnityPoint Health, who will return to the commission with a term that also expires in 2021.

Currently, five MedPAC commissioners are leaving the commission due to expired terms in 2019 while an additional five members are expected to leave by April 2020.