Don Berwick’s Maiden Speech

donald-berwick2The head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Dr. Don Berwick, made his first speaking appearance today since President Obama named him to the position in a recess appointment.  Berwick spoke to a meeting of the American Association of Health Plans (AHIP).

I was very pleased to see Dr. Berwick tell the AHIP audience that the contentious relationship between the Obama Administration and the insurers needed to cease.  We have long maintained at the Healthcare Leadership Council that it is counterproductive for political leaders to demonize the various sectors of the healthcare industry that will be on the front lines making health reform work.  In order to continue improving the affordability and quality of healthcare, it is essential that the public sector work with the private sector instead of throwing brickbats.

In his speech, Dr.Berwick reemphasized his commitment to changing the nation’s healthcare system to provide better care while reducing costs.  In striving to reach those goals, he will find strong allies within all sectors of American healthcare.

Reports on the Berwick speech can be found here, here and here.