Breaking News: Dr. Tom Price Confirmed as HHS Secretary

Posted on in HME Government Issues

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga., right) addresses providers at VGM headquarters in 2016 as Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) looks on.

Earlier today, the Senate voted to confirm Rep. Tom Price, M.D. (R-Ga.) as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) in a party line vote, 52-47.

HHS is in the executive branch within the federal government and is in charge of departments such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Food and Drug Administration, Office of Inspector General, among many others.

Price has been a long-time advocate for DME providers and the beneficiaries they serve with a focus on accessibility and quality of care. Prior to his time in Congress, Price was an orthopedic surgeon, which gives him an experienced, fresh perspective on the nation’s health care system.

Price has been an open critic of the Affordable Care Act, which he will be leading the GOP effort to repeal and replace. DME providers will be quick to remember the role that the ACA played for the industry as DME reimbursement cuts in non-competitively bid areas were used as a pay-for.

In a press release when he was first nominated for the position, Price said:

"It is an honor to be nominated to serve our nation as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Thanks to (then President-elect Donald Trump and then Vice President-elect Mike Pence) for their confidence. I am humbled by the incredible challenges that lay ahead and enthusiastic for the opportunity to be a part of solving them on behalf of the American people. There is much work to be done to ensure we have a health care 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 has led many efforts in recent years to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries are provided with the highest quality of care with a true understanding that the best care comes from local providers. VGM looks forward to working to connect grassroots providers to the next administration as they work to implement crucial reforms across the health care sector.