The U.S. Government Accountability Office, or GAO, has announced the appointment of 17 members to the Medicaid and CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) Payment and Access Commission, or MACPAC. Two AAFP members -- David Sundwall, M.D., of Salt Lake City, executive director of the Utah Department of Health, and Steven Waldren, M.D., M.S., of Kansas City, Mo., director of the AAFP's Center for Health IT -- will serve on the new commission.
According to the Dec. 23 GAO press statement(www.gao.gov), the MACPAC was created as part of the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 to review Medicaid and CHIP access and payment policies and advise Congress on a wide range of Medicaid and CHIP issues.
The commission will commence operations in early 2010.
Commission members are appointed to three-year staggered terms, with the first set of appointments for terms of one, two or three years. Commissioners may be reappointed for subsequent three-year terms.
Sundwall will serve as vice chair of the MACPAC; his first term will expire in December 2011. He is an associate professor of public health in the department of family and preventive medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City. During his career, Sundwall has held a number of state and national leadership positions, including serving as administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration and as assistant surgeon general in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
Waldren's first term on the MACPAC will expire in December 2012. He also serves as co-chair of the Physicians' Electronic Health Records Coalition and is a member of the National Quality Forum's health information technology, or IT, measures steering committee. He is board chair of the Center for Improving Medication Management and vice chair of the health information standards committee of ASTM International (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials).
Waldren told AAFP News Now that he was honored by the appointment. "The commission has the potential to positively influence the Medicaid payment structure and patient access to the Medicaid system," he said.
"I look forward to applying my expertise in health IT during my term," said Waldren. In his capacity as a MACPAC commissioner, Waldren pledged to leverage the AAFP's cadre of resources and advocate for small- and medium-sized medical practices.
"That's where the majority of health care for Medicaid patients is delivered," he said.