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HHS Appoints James Parker to Address Health Insurance Costs

HHS Secretary Azar appoints James Parker as Senior Advisor to the Office of Health Reform to address health insurance costs and health plan availability challenges.

Azar appointed James Parker to assist the Office of Health reform and address health insurance costs

Source: Thinkstock

By Thomas Beaton

- HHS Secretary Alex Azar has appointed James Parker as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Office of Health Reform to address healthcare challenges related to health insurance costs and health plan availability.

Parker previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of MDwise Inc., an Indiana Medicaid managed care organization with 300,000 beneficiaries that earned $1.4 billion in revenue. Parker’s experience also includes leading the development of a provider-sponsored health plan and population health management capabilities at Indiana University Health, an integrated health system in Indianapolis.

In addition, Parker previously served as co-chair of the Indiana University Health Population Health Management Services Organization and worked at Anthem for 20 years in senior leadership roles aimed at improving health plan cost and quality.

Azar asserted that Parker’s extensive experience would prove valuable in helping HHS lower health insurance costs and provide more health plan options for consumers.

“Jim Parker has spent his life working in the private sector to provide Americans access to quality, affordable health insurance,” Azar said. “His knowledge and expertise will be vital to our work at HHS to ensure that Americans have access to insurance that meets their needs.”

Parker’s appointment comes after Azar appointed senior advisors to assist the Secretary for Drug Pricing Reform and the Secretary for Mental Health and Opioid Policy. HHS believes that the advisor brings informed perspectives to achieve HHS’s goals related to rising healthcare costs and public safety.

“These individuals will help advance three of Secretary Azar’s previously identified four initiatives for his transformation agenda: combating the opioid crisis; bringing down the high cost of prescription drugs; addressing the cost and availability of health insurance; and transforming our healthcare system to a value-based system,” HHS stated.

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