Top health official resigns after less than three months on the job

By | January 4, 2019

A top official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has resigned her position after less than three months on the job.

Mary Mayhew, a former Maine official, said Friday that she was heading to Florida to work with Republican Gov.-elect Ron Desantis. Mayhew was appointed Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services Director on Oct. 15, 2018.

Mayhew shared information about her resignation in an email to staff, saying that it had been an honor to work with the top official of CMS, Seema Verma, on “improving state flexibility and strengthening accountability and program integrity.”

Mayhew replaced predecessor Brian Neale, who left in January of last year.

“We will miss her, but I am excited for Mary as she transitions to serve Gov.-elect DeSantis and the people of Florida,” Verma said in a statement. “I appreciate her efforts at CMS, and I look forward to continuing to work with her as she uses her many talents to help the state of Florida create a healthcare system that serves the needs of its citizens.”

CMS approved changes to Medicaid after Mayhew was appointed. They included allowing states to add work requirements to Medicaid in Kentucky, Maine, and Michigan, and allowing more Medicaid recipients to receive access to residential treatment for addiction.

Mayhew shepherded work requirements for food stamps in 2014 her former role as the commissioner for Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services under then-GOP Gov. Paul LePage. She also co-authored an opinion piece on Fox News last year with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich that praised the Trump administration’s push to add work requirements to more welfare programs and close exemptions.

Mayhew was a lobbyist representing the Maine Hospital Association prior to joining the LePage administration. During the last election, she failed to secure the GOP nomination to run for Maine governor.