WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 25, 2021)—The Senate has confirmed Chiquita Brooks-LaSure as the next administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The vote was 55 to 44 in favor of her confirmation. Brooks-LaSure will be the first Black woman to hold the position.
Today, leaders in the homecare industry shared their reactions to the news.
“The American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) congratulates Chiquita Brooks-LaSure on her confirmation as CMS administrator. Her experience in roles at CMS, HHS and on Capitol Hill provide a solid foundation for her work leading federal health care programs that support the health and well-being of millions of individuals throughout America,” the association said in a press release.
AAHomecare added that the home medical equipment (HME) community is especially eager to work with Administrator Brooks-LaSure to provide a meaningful update on Medicare reimbursement rates for HME to reflect increasing product costs and new operational requirements suppliers currently face.
“Chiquita Brooks-LaSure brings solid experience to a very difficult job,” said National Association for Home Care & Hospice President Bill Dombi. “Over the years, she has demonstrated a high degree of capability and the versatility to handle the wide range on matters that occur in Medicare and Medicaid. We look forward to working with her to expand access to home and community-based services and make the home the center of health care.”
Brooks-LaSure previously served as deputy director for policy at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight within CMS, and earlier at the Department of Health and Human Services as director of coverage policy where she led the agency’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Brooks-LaSure most recently served as managing director of Manatt Health.
At her Senate confirmation hearing in April, Brooks-LaSure touched on her vision for CMS as it grapples with issues made worse by the pandemic, such as health inequity.
“During my career, I’ve seen how communities of color too often experience worse health outcomes, which we’ve seen so acutely during this pandemic,” she said at the hearing. “Last year in April, my own hometown, a predominately Black community where my parents still live, experienced higher rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths compared to much of the surrounding communities. If confirmed, I look forward to working with each of you to expand access to quality care for all communities.”