President Obama has made a "recess appointment" of Donald Berwick, M.D., president and CEO at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, to serve as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Obama nominated Berwick to the post in March but the approval process was mired in congressional politics. A recess appointment enables a president to fill posts, without congressional approval, when Congress is not in session. Berwick's appointment is effective until the Senate adjourns at the end of 2011, according to the White House.

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