New head of US Medicare defends health reforms in brief Senate hearing

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 18 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6627
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

Donald Berwick, the controversial head of the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services who was expected to be grilled by the Senate Finance Committee when he appeared before them for a hearing on 17 November, was interviewed for just over an hour with much of the time taken up with prepared statements.

Dr Berwick, a paediatrician, is a fan of the National Health Service, has been knighted by the Queen, and is criticised in the US as promoting socialised medicine. He was a Harvard professor and head of the Institute for Health Care Improvement before his appointment to head the centres. The institute campaigned to save the lives of 100 000 patients through more attention to safety (BMJ 2006; 332:1468; …

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