Medpage Today: Bottom Line: CMS Actuary Closes Books
Rick Foster is about a year away from becoming eligible for one of the public health programs he helped oversee for nearly 2 decades. Like many people at or near that age, Foster, 64, is going to retire on Feb. 1, leaving the post of chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) -- a position he's held since February 1995. His office is responsible for the financial analysis -- retrospective and prospective -- of Medicare and Medicaid, programs that, combined, accounted for roughly 35 percent of all health care spending in 2011. He also works with policymakers in Washington to dissect proposed healthcare legislation and changes to the two federal programs. Along the way, Foster's fingerprints can be found on major aspects of Medicare policy (Pittman, 1/19).