In a recent announcement, CMS Administrator Seema Verma named Dr. Anand Shah, a radiation oncologist at the National Cancer Institute, as the new Senior Medical Advisor for Innovation at CMS.
Dr. Shah’s appointment drew praise from healthcare industry leaders, including Primaris CEO Richard A. Royer, noting Dr. Shah’s previous stint as the chief medical officer at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).
“We must innovate in today’s healthcare climate of new quality measures and payment models,” Royer said. “Dr. Shah already has a stellar track record for innovation that gives clear focus for quality care that has measurable outcomes and value.”
From the FDA to Advanced APMs.
Dr. Shah has previously worked at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where he served as an advisor for the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence. He also served as chief resident at Columbia Business School, where he worked on medical payment and service delivery models including an advanced alternative payment model. He has additionally served as Associate Director of the Center for Excellence in Surgical Outcomes at Duke University.
Dr. Shah completed an MPH in health care management and policy from the Harvard School of Public Health while earning his MD from the University of Pennsylvania. He has received research funding from the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of State, and Radiation Oncology Institute, and was a Canada-U.S. Fulbright Scholar at the University of Toronto.
ASCO president weighs in.
The President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO, also released a statement expressing support for Verma’s pick. She writes in part that Dr. Shah was an active ASCO volunteer before working for the government, and that, “We are hopeful that Dr. Shah’s experience treating people with cancer will inform CMS policies to address the high cost of prescription drug treatments, without compromising patient access to all of the services needed to treat their cancer.”
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Primaris CEO Royer added that both ASCO and Dr. Shah exemplify the ideal of innovation, because ASCO’s clinical cancer registry predated the Medicare Access Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and the Merit-based incentive Payment System (MIPS) that are now at the forefront of the industry’s massive shift from fee-for-service to value-based care. Royer added that Primaris’ values statement emphasizes innovation in the Primaris’s TIME model (Teamwork, Innovation, Motivation, and Excellence).
“We value an environment that encourages new and creative ideas,” Royer said, summarizing the “Innovation” value.
The Chair of the American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Board of Directors, Paul Harari, MD, FASTRO, expressed support for this appointment in a press release, and writes that in his new role, Dr. Shah “will expand his already-extensive work in modernizing American health care, including efforts to improve patient access to high quality care through alternative payment models.” Harari additionally writes that, “ASTRO offers our enthusiastic support to Dr. Shah, and we are eager to collaborate with him and the CMS team on initiatives that are critical to cancer patients and physicians, including the proposed alternative payment model for radiation oncology.”
Primaris contributed to this news release.