- President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Georgia Congressman Tom Price to be the next Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services.
Price currently serves as the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, and was previously an orthopedic surgeon practicing for over 20 years, experience the Trump Administration hopes will equip him at the forefront of HHS.
"Chairman Price, a renowned physician, has earned a reputation for being a tireless problem solver and the go-to expert on healthcare policy, making him the ideal choice to serve in this capacity," Trump said in a public statement. "He is exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare and bring affordable and accessible healthcare to every American."
As a congressman, Price has ardently advocated for meaningful use flexibilities and was reportedly instrumental in influencing the reduced, 90-day reporting period. Additionally, he has offered alternative healthcare legislation as replacement for the Affordable Care Act.
In a public statement, Price stated his hopes for healthcare reform while he is at the helm of the agency.
"There is much work to be done to ensure we have a healthcare system that works for patients, families, and doctors; that leads the world in the cure and prevention of illness; and that is based on sensible rules to protect the well-being of the country while embracing its innovative spirit," Price.
Following this nomination, the Senate must confirm Price prior to him assuming this role.
Several healthcare professional groups have issued statements in response to the nomination.
The American Medical Association praised Price’s nomination, urging Congress to confirm him as HHS Secretary.
“The American Medical Association strongly supports the nomination of Dr. Tom Price to become the next Secretary of Health and Human Services. His service as a physician, state legislator and member of the U.S. Congress provides a depth of experience to lead HHS,” AMA said.
“Dr. Price has been a leader in the development of health policies to advance patient choice and market-based solutions as well as reduce excessive regulatory burdens that diminish time devoted to patient care and increase costs,” the group continued. “We urge the Senate to promptly consider and confirm Dr. Price for this important role.”
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) called Price an ally to those working to advance health IT to improve patient care.
“As a physician, Chairman Price is uniquely aware of the healthcare challenges facing our nation,” the organization said. “He has been an advocate for utilizing health IT to improve health outcomes for patients, while decreasing unnecessary burden on providers.”
Donald W. Fisher, PhD, CAE, President of AMGA, likewise offered congratulations to Price, and cited his prior experience with both politics and the healthcare industry as beneficial.
“AMGA offers its congratulations to Rep. Tom Price on his nomination to become the next Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. From his experience as a practicing physician for nearly 20 years and his leadership on the House Ways and Means Committee, House Budget Committee, and the House GOP Doctors Caucus, he brings a wealth of clinical and policy expertise,” Fisher said in a public statement.
“We are excited to work with his new team to continue to transition the financing of our healthcare system from volume-based to value-based payment.”