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CMS taps Chris Traylor as top Medicaid director

The CMS this week named Chris Traylor to lead federal Medicaid policy as acting director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services.

Traylor, who was previously deputy administrator for strategic initiatives, takes over from Mary Mayhew, who left last week after three months on the job to run Florida’s healthcare department.

Traylor retired in 2016 as the executive commissioner at Texas Health and Human Services, where he negotiated an extension of the state’s 1115 waiver to help cover healthcare providers’ unpaid bills of Medicaid-eligible and uninsured patients in the state. Traylor then worked as a consultant before joining the CMS in July 2018.

During his 26-year public service career, Traylor also led Texas’ Department of Aging and Disability Services for two years and served as the state’s Medicaid director for more than three years.

Meanwhile, the CMS also named Alec Aramanda as director of stakeholder engagement in the office of the administrator. The agency said he was previously “on detail” and will continue to be responsible for director CMS Administrator Seema Verma’s stakeholder and clinician outreach activities.

Most recently he served as the deputy assistant secretary for health policy in the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Legislation where he oversaw the Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP portfolio, the CMS said.