HealthCare.gov’s head tech guy is out

November 6, 2013
(Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)
(Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

A Medicare official who oversaw HealthCare.gov's botched launch will leave the federal government for the private sector, according to an e-mail sent late Tuesday to Medicare employees.

Tony Trenkle is the chief information officer at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency that built the Affordable Care Act's online portal. He is in charge of Henry Chao, a deputy chief information officer at Medicare whose name came up in congressional hearings as the source of key HealthCare.gov decisions.

Trenkle has pretty much spent his entire career in government, according to his biography on the Medicare Web site. His resume includes posts at Medicare, the General Services Administration and the Social Security Administration.

"Our chief operating officer announced yesterday Tony has accepted a position in private sector," Medicare spokeswoman Julie Bataille told reporters this afternoon. "We’re certainly grateful to his service here. We've moved quickly to fill this position."

Bataille did not response to reporters' questions of whether Trenkle had been asked to leave the agency. When pressed on this point, she responded, "Tony made a decision that he was going to move to the private sector and that is what our COO announced yesterday."

The text of the memo, sent out to Medicare employees Friday, is included below.

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to share news with you regarding some leadership changes in the COO offices.

Tony Trenkle, CMS’ Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Director of the Office of Information Services, has announced that he is leaving CMS to take a position in the private sector. His last day will be November 15, 2013. Tony joined CMS in March 2005 as the Director of the Office of E-Health Standards & Services, and was responsible for leading national programs for the development and implementation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and electronic prescribing standards. As the CIO, Tony provided oversight and leadership to CMS’ 2 billion dollar annual expenditures on Information Technology (IT) products and services. Please join me in thanking Tony for his years of public service and wishing him great success in his future endeavors.

Dave Nelson, currently Director of the Office of Enterprise Management (OEM), has agreed to serve as the Acting CIO for CMS upon Tony’s departure. Under his leadership, Dave has ensured that OEM serves as the Agency’s primary resource for development and coordination of strategic governance frameworks, execution, review, analysis, performance management, and development of business requirements for enterprise level business solutions for CMS.

Additionally, Niall Brennan, currently the Director of the Office of Information Products and Data Analytics, Office of Enterprise Management, has agreed to serve as Acting Director of the Office of Enterprise Management. Niall has extensive experience in working collaboratively across the enterprise since joining CMS in 2010, including regulation development, program implementation, advanced analytics and data infrastructure and governance.

And last, but most certainly not least, Tim Love, Deputy Center Director in the Center for Medicare, has agreed to accept the position of Acting Deputy Chief Operating Officer effective November 3, 2013. Tim brings a wealth of knowledge and a wide range of experience across the various business lines within CMS. I know you will all join me in giving him your full support in his new role.

I am truly grateful for the dedication and expertise all of these individuals have brought to CMS, and the contributions they have made to this Agency over their years of service. I would also ask that you join me in thanking Tony, Dave, Niall and Tim for their commitment, leadership and service to CMS, and wishing them all continued success.

Sincerely,

Michelle Snyder
Chief Operating Officer
CMS

 

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