New CMS nominee known as a pragmatist

President Obama's new pick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is more of a manager than a policy visionary, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

The Post says Marilyn Tavenner's pragmatic attitude could help her avoid the controversy that has dogged outgoing chief Donald Berwick. While Berwick "spent decades writing, thinking, and speaking about overhauling America's health care system," his former deputy has a more management-centered outlook, The Post reported.

Tavenner began her career as an ICU nurse and rose to become a hospital executive for the Hospital Corporation of America.

"Former colleagues described her as a patient-centered manager, a hands-on medical professional equally comfortable in the board room and the emergency room," the newspaper reported.

"One of the things she's really good at is being respectful, respecting different views and being willing to listen," Patrick Finnerty, who served under Tavenner as Virginia's Medicaid director, told The Post.

This will be Berwick's last week as head of CMS. Bowing to Republican pressure, Obama withdrew his nomination of Berwick to head CMS last week, and offered Tavenner instead.

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