CMS replaces executives who departed after HealthCare.gov troubles

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has named replacements for two top executives who exited the agency after the botched rollout of the federal government’s online insurance exchange, HealthCare.gov.

CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg).
CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

In a letter to employees, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said the agency promoted Tim Love to serve as chief operating officer and appointed Dave Nelson as its new chief information officer.

Love, who previously served as CMS’s No. 2 operating officer, replaces former COO Michelle Snyder, who retired in December. His career includes nearly three decades in public service, including stints with the Navy and Peace Corps, as well as 22 years with CMS, according to the announcement.

“Tim brings broad experience to this role from within and outside our agency,” Tavenner said.

Nelson, the former director of enterprise management at CMS, has served as acting CIO for the agency since Tony Trenkle stepped down from that role in November. Prior to joining CMS 10 years ago, he served in the Air Force and worked for private-sector tech firms, founding two tech start-ups that developed broadband capabilities in underserved U.S. markets and working as vice president of a telecommunications firm, according to the letter.

“Dave brings deep experience both as a manager and technologist to this critically important position,” Tavenner said.

Love and Nelson’s predecessors helped oversee the development of HealthCare.gov, which launched in October but experienced glitches that caused the online exchange to crash intermittently and prevented users from registering for health coverage.

Despite those setbacks, CMS has resolved many of the problems, and the enrollment numbers had increased to more than 1 million by the end of December, although more than 3 million were expected by that time.

A Washington Post report last week revealed that the Obama administration had dumped one of its primary HealthCare.gov contractors and planned to sign a new one-year agreement with another firm this week to continue work on the site.

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Josh Hicks covers the federal government and anchors the Federal Eye blog. He reported for newspapers in the Detroit and Seattle suburbs before joining the Post as a contributor to Glenn Kessler’s Fact Checker blog in 2011.
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