Published May 27, 2020
University of Rhode Island (URI) College of Nursing Professor Betty Rambur has been appointed as a commissioner on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), which holds a powerful role in advising Congress on Medicare policy. The announcement was made May 21 by Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the U.S. and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office. She joins two other new members on MedPAC, along with two reappointed members.
Dr. Rambur, the College’s Routhier Endowed Chair for Practice and Professor of Nursing, was nominated by AACN and six other nursing organizations for her depth of experience in payment reform, delivery innovations, and deep understanding of current healthcare laws and administrative rules. She joins Harvard Medical School Professor of Health Care Policy Michael Chernew, and President and Professor of Internal Medicine and Health Policy and Management at the State University of New York Wayne Riley on the commission.
At URI, Dr. Rambur focuses on population health, reducing disparities and overtreatment, cost containment, and reconceptualized models of care including e-connected/virtual care. A former dean, she recently served as the only nurse on Vermont’s five-member Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB), a quasi-judicial body with oversight of health care in Vermont. In addition to regulatory functions such as hospital budget setting, insurance rate review, Certificate of Need, and governance of the All Payer Claims Data Base, Dr. Rambur, as a member of the board, held substantial responsibility in the area of innovation. In 2016, for example, the GMCB negotiated together with the Governor of Vermont, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Vermont Agency of Human Services, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the statewide All-Payer Model Agreement to create a transformative payment model that transitions away from fee-for-service to value-based care. Under GMCB leadership, Vermont’s delivery system redesign focuses on patient choice, health outcomes, and cost containment, restructuring provider incentives to reward quality over quantity.
Previously, Dr. Rambur led North Dakota’s statewide health reform efforts that resulted in omnibus health reform legislation. She continues to provide leadership in key policy arenas, including as member on Rhode Island’s Cost Trends Steering Committee, which recently set a statewide expenditure target and monitoring process, and the State’s alternative payment model advisory committee, Dr. Rambur is an active member of a public private partnership complementing the Cost Trends Steering Committee that developed and is now leading implementation of a long range health plan for the state that focuses on reducing disparities, enhancing access, and containing costs. On the national level, she recently served on the National Quality Forum’s Cost and Resources Use Committee and as a grant peer reviewer for the Health Resources and Services Administration’s proposals directed at primary care nursing, contributing her expertise of team-based and interprofessional care models in nurse-led teams in rural or underserved areas.