Thursday, September 09, 2010

Berwick's conflicts of interest---primary sources

Senator Grassley's second request to Berwick for information on donors to IHI.

Berwick's refusal to fully comply.

Senator Grassley's comments on Berwick's refusal:

“For months, I’ve asked for donor information regarding the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. At one point, Dr. Berwick promised to get me that information. It never happened. And now Dr. Berwick says it never will, at least not on his watch. This was supposed to be the most transparent Administration ever. Instead, it’s on track for the opposite. The CMS administrator has authority for the health coverage of more than 100 million Americans and manages a budget larger than the Pentagon’s. At least a minimal amount of transparency is necessary for the head of such an influential agency...

We don’t know the key donors to IHI, which he founded and directed, so we don’t know who funded his salary for many years or who funded his retirement plan. If a medical device maker or insurance company helped to fund IHI, will those companies get favorable treatment as Dr. Berwick decides how to cut more than half a trillion dollars from Medicare, as required by health care reform? The Administration’s answer is, trust us. But instead of being left to hope for the best, the taxpayers need verification. Without more information, the taxpayers are in the dark. Stonewalling on basic information is unacceptable...”

H/T to Dr. Wes.

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