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Seema Verma, President, CEO and founder of SVC, Inc


NRI Seema Verma appointed as key member of US COVID-19 task force by US Vice President Mike Pence

Washington, March 5, 2020 A.Gary Singh/ Ramesh

NRI Seema Verma appointed as key member of US COVID-19 task force by US Vice President Mike Pence

  • Coronavirus cases top 94,000 and spread in more than 78 countries
  • Coronavirus death toll tops 3,000 in China and 80,409 confirmed cases,
  • Iran has announced 92 deaths and 2,922 cases
  • Italy has confirmed more than 3,000 cases, along with more than 100 deaths.
  • South Korea, turned up almost 6,000 cases, with a death toll nearing 40.
  • S. death toll rises to 11 with California’s first death

Mike Pence, US Vice President announced the appointment of Seema Verma, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and Robert Wilkie, Secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs, to the task force, as one of the key members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force constituted by US President Donald Trump to combat the deadly Coronavirus disease

Today, on March 4, 2020, Pence, White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma today met with long-term, post-acute, and palliative care providers to discuss issues surrounding the Coronavirus, its impact on the industry, and the role the industry plays our response.

  • The Vice President reiterated the President’s commitment to making the safety, security, and health of the American people a top priority while also outlining the massive efforts this Administration has taken across the entire federal government to prepare for the Coronavirus.
  • Administrator Verma announced new guidelines for surveyors to follow when surveying facilities with confirmed or presumptive cases of Coronavirus.

Ambassador Birx expressed the need for both the public and private sector to focus on populations at higher risk for the Coronavirus. Ensuring the safety and quality of America’s nursing homes and other long-term care facilities continues to be a priority for this Administration.

PARTICIPANTS: The Vice President, Ambassador Birx, M.D., White House Coronavirus Coordinator Administrator Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
David Gifford, American Health Care Association, Chief Medical Officer
Stephen Flatt, CEO & Inside Director, National HealthCare Corporation
Debbie Meade, CEO Health Management, LLC, Barry Port, CEO, Ensign Services, INC.
Randy Bury, President, The Good Samaritan Society, Edo Banach, CEO, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, Norman McRae, Founder, Caris Healthcare, Nicholas Westfall, CEO, VITAS Healthcare, Susan Lloyd, CEO, Delaware Hospice.

On Monday, Seema Verma said:

  • Her agency may not be able to pay for all “products and services” required for coronavirus patients dependent on government insurance.
  • We are looking at what we cover and clarifying the types of products and services that our programs will be able to pay for in terms of Medicare and Medicaid
  • Vice President Mike Pence to discuss the novel coronavirus, the risk it poses to Americans, and the government’s response efforts.
  • It opens the door to the possibility that older Americans — a demographic at greater risk from coronavirus — will have to pay up to receive medical treatment.
  • Many Medicare beneficiaries are subject to a $1,408 deductible, with coinsurance that kicks in after the second month starting at $352 per day and gradually scaling upward.
  • The agency is still reviewing the proposal, and that “we want to hold nursing homes accountable for outcomes.
  • The agency’s inspectors have been sent to the facility in Washington state, Life Care Center of Kirkland, where seven people died after contracting the coronavirus. CMS plans to determine if the nursing home was following protocol, such as whether employees were changing gloves and properly handling food.

Pence otherwise attempted to quell concerns about the virus, saying “the risk to the American people from the coronavirus remains low.”

Azar told members of Congress on Wednesday:

  • We would want to ensure that we work to make it affordable, but we can’t control that price because we need the private sector to invest.
  • Price controls won’t get us there.

“I have directed my teams that if we do any joint venture with a private enterprise, that we’re cofunding the research-and-development program, that we would ensure there’s access to the fruits of that, whether vaccine or therapeutics,” Azar said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a directive ordering health insurers to waive all costs related to the coronavirus for emergency-room, urgent-care, and doctor visits.



NRI Seema Verma to head US healthcare agency at Trump’s administration

Washington, March 15, 2017

Under Trump’s administration, three NRIs were sworn-in as the head of three agencies:

Seema Verma, President, CEO and founder of SVC, Inc., a national health policy consulting company,  was sworn-in as the head of a key healthcare agency. She will be American health policy as the current administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Health Department agency that oversees the Obamacare insurance markets, Medicare, and Medicaid serving under the Trump Administration. On March 13, 2017, the United States Senate confirmed her nomination in a 55-43 vote.

Verma is the architect the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), the nation's first consumer directed Medicaid program under Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Governor Pence’s HIP 2.0 waiver proposal.  Ms. Verma has supported Indiana from development of the enabling legislation, negotiating the financing plan with the state’s hospital association, developing the federal waiver, supporting federal negotiations and leading the implementation of the program, including the operational design.

She has developed many of the recent Medicaid reform programs including waivers for Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky and helped design Tennessee’s coverage expansion proposal and  also provided technical assistance to Michigan as they implemented their 1115 Medicaid waiver. She participated on the Republican Governor's Public Policy Committee on Medicaid reform and contributed to the development of the report “A New Medicaid: A Flexible, Innovation and Accountable Future."

Verma  said, "you have to make your contribution every month, with a 60-day grace period. If you don't make the contribution, you're out of the program for 12 months. It's a strong personal responsibility mechanism."

In 2001, Seema Verma founded the health policy consulting firm SVC Inc and  has worked with the states of Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee to implement  the  Obamacare  through state insurance agencies and public health agencies to redesign their Medicaid programs

Seema Verma received her Master’s degree in Public Health with concentration in health policy and management from Johns Hopkins University in 1996 and her Bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences from the University of Maryland. Verma's husband is a child psychiatrist who runs a medical practice through the Indiana Health Group

Ms. Verma is a graduate of the Lugar Series Excellence in Public Service and in 2016, Governor Mike Pence awarded Ms. Verma the /Sagamore of the Wabash/.


Indian-American sworn-in as top US healthcare agency head  

Washington, March 15, 2017: Indian-American Seema Verma has been sworn-in as the head of a key healthcare agency in the Donald Trump administration.

Verma was sworn in on Tuesday by US Vice President Mike Pence as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which are part of the Department of Health and Human Services, PBS NewsHour reported.

The $1 trillion agency oversees health insurance programmes for everyone from nursing home residents to newborns.

"President Donald Trump has chosen one of the leading experts in America on state-based healthcare solutions to lead this important agency," Vice President Pence said at the swearing-in ceremony at the White House.

"The President has asked you to bring your expertise to DC," Pence said, adding: "We're confident that you'll help restore healthcare decision making to the states, and in the process help make the best healthcare system in the world even better."

Verma is the second Indian-American to be inducted into the Trump administration.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley was the first cabinet rank official from the community to serve in any presidential administration.

"Today, our healthcare stands at a crossroads, and we have no choice but to reform it," she said.

The Senate confirmed her nomination on Monday by a vote of 55-43, largely along party lines.

Verma is taking over the agency as a Republican healthcare bill moving through the House has reopened the debate over the government's role in healthcare.

Verma is an Indiana healthcare consultant and protege of Pence, who is a former Indiana governor.

The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) which represents more than 60,000 physicians, welcomed Verma's appointment, reported New India Times newspaper.

Ajay Lodha, President of AAPI, lauded Verma's accomplishments in Indiana, and said he hoped that the problems faced by patients under the Medicare drug plan would be resolved under her leadership.

"Drug coverage has gone down and for patients under Medicare who are all above 65, and not healthy and needed medications -- I hope she can do something for them." Lodha said.

When Trump announced in November that he was appointing Verma for the post, he said that she would be part of "the dream team that will transform our healthcare system for the benefit of all Americans".

Her role will extend beyond the insurance programmes -- Medicare for senior citizens and Medicaid for the poor -- to helping craft and implement the Republican healthcare reform plan to replace Obamacare.

"She has decades of experience advising on Medicare and Medicaid policy and helping states navigate our complicated systems," Trump had said.







Seema Verma has been sworn-in as the head of a key healthcare agency in the Donald Trump administration

She got Master’s degree in Public Health with concentration in health policy and management from Johns Hopkins University in 1996 and her Bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences from the University of Maryland.

-Verma's husband is a child psychiatrist who runs a medical practice through the Indiana Health Group