Former CMS official joins insurer lobby

The top health insurance lobby group has hired Mark Hamelburg, a former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) official, to lead its policy team on Medicare and Medicaid programs.

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) announced Wednesday that Hamelburg was being hired as its senior vice president of federal programs, in charge of policy on issues such as Medicare Advantage and the Part D prescription drug program.

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"Mark's extensive experience and deep understanding of Medicare and Medicaid make him the perfect fit to take on the challenges facing our industry today," said AHIP CEO Karen Ignagni. "This is a critical time for Medicare Advantage and the millions of seniors who rely on it for quality care, and we could not ask for someone better to lead our team."

Hamelburg previously served as director of the Medicare Part C and Part D Analysis Group in the Office of Legislation at the CMS, where he drafted legislation and regulations on prescription drug and private health insurance programs.

He also briefed congressional staff on CMS issues, prepared agency witnesses for testimony and handled the agency’s strategic planning on a number of issues.

After his stint at the CMS, Hamelburg joined the D.C. law firm of Epstein Becker Green as an adviser on CMS-related matters.