Sean R. Tunis, MD, MSc
Chief Medical Officer, CMS &
Director, Office Of Clinical Standards & Quality

Medicare and Medical Technology Policy

February 11, 2005
12:00 - 1:30 PM

Colonial Penn Center Auditorium


The Medicare program has a variety of policy mechanisms in place designed to efficiently accommodate beneficial new medical technology. These major policy mechanisms include regulatory approval, benefit category determination, coverage decisions, assigning codes and setting payment rates. For many of these policy processes, CMS conducts detailed reviews of clinical and scientific evidence in order to determine whether and how the technology should be reimbursed. Over the last 5 years, the Medicare program has taken a number of steps to increase the technical quality, transparency and speed of its technology policy-making. Most recently, the Agency established the Council on Technology and Innovation, an internal group of senior CMS policy makers working to improve the efficiency of policy development, increase the opportunities for public input and support the development of better evidence to support health care decisions made by patients, clinicians and policy makers.

Sean Tunis, MD, MSc., is the Director of the Office of Clinical Standards and Quality (OCSQ) and Chief Medical Officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). OCSQ makes evidence-based national coverage policies; sets quality standards for Medicare and Medicaid providers, leads CMS's quality measurement and improvement activities, and manages Medicare's Peer Review Program. As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tunis works on overall Agency clinical policy and purchasing initiatives. Dr. Tunis was previously the Director of the Coverage and Analysis Group within OCSQ. Prior to joining CMS, Dr. Tunis was a Senior Research Scientist with The Lewin Group where he lead the design and conduct of prospective comparative effectiveness studies. Dr. Tunis also served as the Director of the Health Program at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and as a health policy advisor to the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, where he participated in policy development regarding pharmaceutical and device regulation. Dr. Tunis holds an adjunct faculty position in the Department of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and practices as an Emergency Room physician in Baltimore, Maryland. He received a B.S. degree in History of Science from Cornell University, and a medical degree and masters in Health Services Research from Stanford University. Dr. Tunis did his residency training at UCLA and the University of Maryland in Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine, and is board-certified in Internal Medicine

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