NQF Names Shantanu Agrawal, MD, MPhil, as New President and CEO 

JAN 18, 2017

CONTACT: Sofia Kosmetatos

NQF Names Shantanu Agrawal, MD, MPhil, as New President and CEO

Washington, DC
—The National Quality Forum (NQF) Board of Directors has selected Shantanu Agrawal, MD, as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer (CEO). A board-certified emergency medicine physician who has worked in both academic and community settings, Dr. Agrawal is the former deputy administrator and director for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Center for Program Integrity (CPI). Dr. Agrawal will succeed Helen Darling, MA, NQF interim president and CEO, on January 30, 2017.

“Shantanu understands the importance of advancing quality and patient safety both from the frontlines of medicine and from a national policy perspective,” said Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, NQF Board chair and president and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals. “He is the innovative, passionate, focused visionary that NQF needs now to ensure that we respond strategically and effectively to the nation’s dynamically changing healthcare landscape.”

Most recently at CMS, Dr. Agrawal led a new effort to improve the physician experience with Medicare by working to minimize the administrative tasks with which doctors contend. He also was one of the main architects of CMS’s recently released strategy and action plan to address the national opioid misuse epidemic. His main focus at CPI was improving healthcare value by lowering the cost of care through the detection and prevention of waste, abuse, and fraud in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. From 2012 through 2014, CPI’s prevention efforts saved Medicare and Medicaid $42 million.

Dr. Agrawal previously served as CPI’s chief medical officer and was instrumental in launching new initiatives in data transparency and analytics, utilization management, assessment of novel payment models, and stewarding a major public-private partnership between CMS and private payers, the Health Care Fraud Prevention Partnership.

“Shantanu is an energetic, proven leader with the ideal blend of experience needed to manage NQF’s organizational complexities, skillfully navigate our nation’s health policy environment, and deliver on NQF’s mission to advance quality measurement,” said Ms. Darling, who also is the immediate past-chair of the NQF Board of Directors. “I care deeply about NQF, its members, and its staff, and am very confident that all will be in excellent hands with Dr. Agrawal.”

Prior to joining CMS, Dr. Agrawal was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, serving the senior management of hospitals, health systems, and biotech and pharmaceutical companies on projects to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery. Dr. Agrawal also has worked for a full-risk, capitated delivery system as its leader for clinical innovation and efficiency.

“NQF was created 16 years ago by private- and public-sector leaders out of their shared sense of urgency about the impact of healthcare quality on patient outcomes, workforce productivity, and healthcare costs. These issues, and NQF’s role to address them, are just as urgent today, if not more so,” said Dr. Agrawal. “I am honored to lead NQF during this exciting and pivotal time. I look forward to working with our more than 430 member organizations to prioritize and streamline the best measures of quality, ensure that areas in need of good measures have them, and push for the effective, high-value care providers want and patients deserve.”

Dr. Agrawal has testified numerous times before Congress and is a well-published author with articles in Journal of the American Medical Association, New England Journal of Medicine, Annals of Emergency Medicine, among others. He is a frequent national speaker on healthcare and cost.

Dr. Agrawal completed his undergraduate education at Brown University, medical education at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and clinical training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He has a master’s degree in social and political sciences from Cambridge University.


The National Quality Forum leads national collaboration to improve health and healthcare quality through measurement. Learn more at www.qualityforum.org.