Former CMS data chief to lead Health Care Cost Institute

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Niall Brennan, the former chief data officer at CMS under President Barack Obama, has been named the new president and executive director at the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI).

“HCCI has incredible data resources that can be used to develop better insights into what is driving changes in health care spending. I am excited to lead HCCI, and work with policymakers, researchers, consumers, and others to identify strategies and interventions to better understand costs, improve quality, and promote transparency,” Brennan said in a statement.

Brennan was the first chief data officer at CMS, being appointed in November 2014. His goal was to move the agency’s data transparency efforts forward as part of a “deliberate policy shift as we are moving from being a passive purchaser to a value-based purchaser.” Before joining CMS, he had worked at the Brookings Institution, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, the Congressional Budget Office and the Urban Institute.

In his new role at HCCI, he’ll be replacing David Newman, PhD, who launched the organization in 2011. The press release praised his work in helping HCCI become “an established research enterprise” reporting on U.S. healthcare spending. He’ll remain affiliated with the organization as a senior advisor.

“With David at the helm, HCCI has built a remarkable reputation for itself as an independent, non-partisan research entity and leader in transparency and all-payer claims database initiatives. He has taken HCCI beyond our wildest expectations. We now look forward to having Niall take HCCI forward to the next level,” said Stephen Parente, chair of the HCCI Governing Board.