The Comptroller General of the United States is mandated in law to make appointments to certain health care-related commissions, advisory boards and governing boards. The links below provide additional information about each of these entities.
The 21st Century Cures Act requires the Comptroller General of the United States to appoint at least 14 members to the HIT Advisory Committee. The Act established this committee to provide recommendations to the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology on policies, standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria relating to the implementation of a health information technology infrastructure that advances the electronic access, exchange, and use of health information. The Comptroller General has previously made appointments to a separate committee, the HIT Policy Committee, which was replaced by the HIT Advisory Committee.
In addition to the Comptroller General’s appointments, the Act specifies that 11 members are appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Majority and Minority leaders of the Senate, and the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives. The Act requires that members at least reflect providers, ancillary health care workers, consumers, purchasers, health plans, health information technology developers, researchers, patients, relevant Federal agencies, and individuals with technical expertise on health care quality, system functions, privacy, security, and on the electronic exchange and use of health information, including the use standards for such activity.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 established the new Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) to review Medicaid and CHIP access and payment policies and to advise Congress on issues affecting Medicaid and CHIP [Section 506, Public Law 111-3 and Section 2801, Public Law 111-148]. The Act directed the Comptroller General of the United States to appoint MACPAC’s 17 members, with initial appointments made no later than January 1, 2010. In 2016, the appointment date was moved from January to May for future cycles.
The terms of MACPAC commissioners are intended to be staggered, with the first set of appointments made in January 2010 set at one, two, or three years. Commissioners may be appointed for subsequent three-year terms. A call for nominations is published in the Federal Register in the winter, and appointments are made in May of each year.
2020 Update: On May 1, 2020, each of the following individuals was reappointed to MACPAC for a three-year term through April 2023: Martha Carter, DHSc, MBA, APRN, CNM; Frederick Cerise, MD, MPH; Kisha Davis, MD, MPH; Darin Gordon; and William Scanlon, PhD.
The Comptroller General of the United States is responsible for appointing individuals to serve as members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). MedPAC is an agency of Congress whose mandate is to analyze access to care, quality of care, and other issues affecting Medicare and to advise Congress on payments to health plans participating in the Medicare Advantage program and providers in Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service program. MedPAC was established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (42 U.S.C. 1395b-6 (2008)).
The commission’s 17 members serve 3-year terms (from May 1 to April 30), with the terms subject to renewal. The law requires that the commission comprise a mix of individuals with expertise in the financing and delivery of health care services and have a broad geographic representation. Commissioners include physicians and other health professionals, employers, third-party payers, researchers with a variety of health-related expertise, and representatives of consumers and the elderly.
Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Governing Board
The Comptroller General of the United States is responsible for appointing at least 19 but no more than 21 individuals to serve as members of the Board of Governors of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Members of the Board serve six-year terms and may be reappointed for one subsequent six-year term. Board members must meet the qualifications listed in law. The Directors of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Institutes of Health, or their designees, also serve as members of the Board.
PCORI was established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [Section 6301 and Section 10602, Public Law 111-148]. The Further Consolidated Budget Act of 2020 [Div. N, Sec. 104, Pub. L. 116-94] reauthorized funding for PCORI through fiscal year 2029.
2020 Update: On February 4, 2020, Alicia Fernandez, MD, was reappointed to the PCORI Board of Governors for a six-year term through February 2026.
PCORI Governing Board Conflicts of Interest Information (PDF, 3 pages)
PCORI Methodology Committee
In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act gave the Comptroller General of the United States responsibility for appointing up to 15 members to PCORI’s Methodology Committee [Section 6301 and Section 10602, Public Law 111-148]. The Further Consolidated Budget Act of 2020 [Div. N, Sec. 104, Pub. L. 116-94] transferred the responsibility to appoint members of the Methodology Committee from the Comptroller General to the PCORI Board of Governors.
Previous GAO Actions for the Methodology Committee (PDF, 10 pages)
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 established the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee to provide comments and recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on physician payment models, and gave the Comptroller General responsibility for appointing the committee’s 11 members. The Advisory Committee members shall include individuals with national recognition for their expertise in physician-focused payment models and related delivery of care. No more than 5 members of the Committee shall be providers of services or suppliers, or representatives of providers of services or suppliers. A member of the committee shall not be an employee of the federal government.
Commissions previously appointed by GAO which are inactive include:
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan Program, and provides for an Advisory Board to the program [Section 1322 and Section 10104, Public Law 111-148]. The Act requires the Comptroller General of the United States to appoint the Advisory Board’s 15 members from among individuals with qualifications described in section 1805(c)(2) of the Social Security Act, with appointments made not later than three months after the date of enactment of the Act. The Act also provided that the board should terminate when it had completed its duties and therefore, the Board is no longer active. The appointments were announced by Acting Comptroller General Gene Dodaro on June 23, 2010.
For more information, please visit the insurance program webpage of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight of the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act gave the Comptroller General of the United States responsibility for appointing 15 members to the National Health Care Workforce Commission.
The members of the Commission are appointed for three-year terms, but staggered terms are mandated for the first 15 members appointed in September 2010. Those first appointments are set at one, two or three years. Qualifications of the commissioners are identified in the Act [Section 5101 and Section 10501, Public Law 111-148].
No appropriation has been made for the Commission and consequently it has not met since it was created.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act required the Comptroller General of the United States to appoint 13 of 20 members to the HIT Policy Committee, a body which made recommendations on creating a policy framework for the development and adoption of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure, including standards for the exchange of patient medical information.
The Act required the Comptroller General to appoint these members across 10 different categories including: advocates for patients or consumers, representatives of health care providers, including 1 physician, labor organizations representing health care workers, expert in health information privacy and security, expert in improving the health of vulnerable populations, research community representative, representative of health plans or other third-party payers, representative of information technology vendors, representative of purchasers or employers, and expert in health care quality measurement and reporting. Appointment terms were for three years, generally beginning in April, and members could be reappointed for subsequent terms. An additional seven members were appointed to the committee by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Majority and Minority leaders of the Senate, and the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.
The 21st Century Cures Act replaced the HIT Policy Committee with the HIT Advisory Committee. See the HIT Advisory Committee page for more information. For more information, please contact Will Simerl of GAO's Health Care team at (404) 679-1888 or Chuck Young in GAO's Office of Public Affairs at (202) 512-4800.