Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar yesterday named Indiana insurance executive James Parker to direct the HHS Office of Health Reform and lead the department’s initiative to make health insurance more affordable and available. Parker most recently served as CEO of MDWise, an Indiana Medicaid managed care organization, and led the development of a provider-sponsored health plan and population health management services at Indiana University Health. Before that he spent 20 years in senior leadership roles at Anthem Inc. “Jim Parker has spent his life working in the private sector to provide Americans access to quality, affordable health insurance,” Azar said. “His knowledge and expertise will be vital to our work at HHS to ensure that Americans have access to insurance that meets their needs.” Last month, Azar named former CVS Health executive Daniel Best as his senior advisor on drug pricing reform, and Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir, M.D., as his senior advisor on mental health and opioid policy.

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