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Obama ready to name head of Medicare and Medicaid

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Media reports cite a health official as saying the Barack Obama Administration intends to tap a Massachusetts pediatrician and Harvard University professor to lead the agency that manages Medicare and Medicaid.  The position has been open since Mark McClellan resigned in 2006.
 
The senior administration official told CNN Saturday that the official nomination of Donald Berwick has not yet been made.
 
In addition to being a clinical professor of pediatrics and health care policy at Harvard Medical School, Berwick serves as president and chief executive of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, according to the organization’s website.
 
The organization, (whose funding source is not readily available) states that it strives “to improve the lives of patients, the health of communities, and the joy of the health care workforce by focusing on an ambitious set of goals adapted from the Institute of Medicine's six improvement aims for health care system.”
 
The organization is supported by many medical institutions, including the National Patient Safety Agency, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Baptist Memorial Heath Care Corporation, Baylor Health Care System, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The Health Foundation, Henry  Ford Health System, The Humana Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, The Josiah Macy. Jr. Foundation, and  the Mayo Foundation. Individual supporters are Eliot and Patricia Daley and Dr. and Mrs Robert Waller.
 
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, as part of the Department of Health and Human Services, oversees the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Obama's decision to appoint Berwick to lead the agency comes just days after the health care overhaul bill was signed into law.

Jimmy Downs and editing by Rachel Stockton

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