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Obama health ‘czar’ worked at legally troubled health firms
The company was cited for similar problems in 1999 by HCFA, which was then headed by Mrs. DeParle.
c Medco Health Solutions Inc., the No. 1 firm in the pharmacy benefits management business, where Mrs. DeParle began serving on the board of directors in October 2008, earning $13,500 in fees. The company has been the target of three federal whistleblower lawsuits, all of which are under seal and predate her board appointment. The company has spent nearly $2.6 million in federal lobbying, including on health care reform, for the first nine months of this year.
“Nancy-Ann DeParle was a valued Medco board member during her limited time of service,” a Medco spokesman said in a statement.
c Cerner Corp., an information technology company that makes software for health care firms and could benefit from the Obama administration’s plans to spend billions of dollars encouraging the use of electronic medical records. Mrs. DeParle was a director from May 2001 through March 2009, earning $970,900 in fees and profits from stock sales, according to the SEC records.
In February, Congress approved $35 billion in incentives for health care companies to modernize operations through the use of information technology. Cerner reported in an SEC filing last summer that although it did not expect an immediate boost from the technology provisions in the bill, “the longer-term potential could be significant” and the company was well-positioned to benefit from the incentives.
The legislation was passed before Mrs. DeParle became health care czar, but while she was a Cerner director.
c Triad Hospitals Inc., one of the largest publicly owned hospital companies in the U.S. with 54 facilities. Mrs. DeParle was a director from July 2001 to July 2007, when the company merged with Community Health System.
She earned $1.525 million in directors’ fees and profits from stock and stock options when the companies merged, according to SEC records.
c CCMP Capital, a private equity firm where Mrs. DeParle was a managing director overseeing health care investments from August 2006 to her federal appointment. Her personal financial disclosure form shows that she received $1 million in salary and bonus from CCMP for 2008 and early this year.
It could not be determined how much she made from the firm in 2006 and 2007 because CCMP is not a publicly traded company. As part of her work, she served on the boards of two health care companies in which CCMP had invested - Legacy Hospital Partners and CareMore Health Plan.
Although her appointment has drawn some criticism because of her ties to the health care industry, others said she had established a record of fighting Medicare abuse.
“She is the person who put the notion of eliminating fraud and abuse in Medicare and Medicaid on the agenda at HCFA,” said Dr. William L. Roper, dean of the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina and one of Mrs. DeParle’s predecessors at HCFA. “It should not be a bar to government service because you served honorably in the private sector.”
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