Federal Faces: Ariane Tschumi

November 19, 2012

NAME: Ariane Tschumi

Position: Presidential Management Fellow, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, on detail to the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services.

Best known for: Ariane Tschumi, 28, is blazing a legal trail to improve U.S. health care. She is working with the HHS Office of the Inspector General to prevent waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health programs. She also is helping the office understand the complex regulations and rules for the health insurance exchanges written into the Affordable Care Act.

She began her fellowship at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, created under that law, which designs and tests ways of paying for and delivering health care. As the first lawyer to assist at the center, she has helped non-lawyers who are developing new health-care models to understand the legal issues involved, and has worked with government stakeholders who want to be sure new programs are consistent with government regulation and law. At the center, which she will return to in a couple of months to finish her two-year fellowship, she works alongside health-care experts who are designing model programs, including an initiative on expanding primary care.

Government work: While at Harvard Law School, Tschumi spent a summer in the Public Health Division of the HHS Office of the General Counsel. She also received a Heyman Fellowship while at Harvard that provided her with financial assistance in return for a commitment to spend at least three years in the federal government. She has been a fellow since September 2011.


Ariane Tschumi, 28, is blazing a legal trail to improve U.S. health care. (Ariane Tschumi)

Motivation for service: Tschumi’s interest in public health was crystallized during the summer of 2005, when she spent six weeks in Aceh, Indonesia, as part of the International Rescue Committee’s tsunami relief efforts.

Biggest challenge: How to address existing laws to develop a better health-care system, and also ensure that there are robust safeguards to protect against abuses.

Quote: “One of the extraordinary aspects of my work has been drawing on the skill, talent and passion of remarkable teams of individuals dedicated to improving the health and health-care framework of Americans. It is extremely rewarding to learn from their knowledge and insights.”

— From the Partnership for Public Service

For a full profile, visit the Fed Page at washingtonpost.com.

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