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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Marilyn B. TavennerU.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Marilyn B. Tavenner
Administrator
Chief Operating Officer, 
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

E-mail: AskCMSquestions@cms.hhs.gov
Phone: 1(800) 432-2590

Marilyn Tavenner is currently the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  Previously, Ms. Tavenner was Principal Deputy Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  As the Principal Deputy Administrator, Ms. Tavenner served as the agency’s second-ranking official overseeing policy development and implementation as well as management and operations.

Ms. Tavenner, a life-long public health advocate, manages the $820 billion federal agency, which ensures health care coverage for 100 million Americans, with 10 regional offices and more than 4,000 employees nationwide. CMS administers Medicare, and it provides funds and guidance to all states for their Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP) programs.  With the passage of the Affordable Care Act in March of 2010, Ms. Tavenner is also responsible for overseeing CMS as it implements the insurance reforms and Affordable Insurance Exchanges included in the health reform law.

Prior to assuming her CMS leadership role, Ms. Tavenner served for four years as the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Resources in the administration of former Governor Tim Kaine. In this top cabinet position, she was charged with overseeing 18,000 employees and a $9 billion annual budget to administer Medicaid, mental health, social services, public health, aging, disabilities agencies, and children’s services.

Before entering government service, Ms. Tavenner spent 25 years working for the Hospital Corporation of American (HCA).  She began working as a nurse at the Johnson-Willis Hospital in Richmond, Va., in 1981 and steadily rose through the company.  By 1993, she began working as the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer and, by 2001, had assumed responsibility for 20 hospitals as President of the company’s Central Atlantic Division.  She finished her service to HCA in 2005 as Group President of Outpatient Services, where she spearheaded the development of a national strategy for freestanding outpatient services, including physician recruitment and real estate development.  

Ms. Tavenner holds a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing and a master’s degree in health administration, both from the Virginia Commonwealth University.

She has worked with many community and professional organizations, serving as a board member of the American Hospital Association, as president of the Virginia Hospital Association, as chairperson of the Chesterfield Business Council, and as a life-long member of the Rotary Club. Her contributions also include providing leadership in such public service organizations as the March of Dimes, the United Way and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In addition to numerous business awards, Ms. Tavenner has been recognized for her volunteer activities, including the 2007 recipient of the March of Dimes Citizen of the Year Award.


Content last reviewed on November 13, 2013