Demetrios L. Kouzoukas

Medicare Reform Initiative

Demetrios L. Kouzoukas is the Director of Paragon Health Institute’s Medicare Initiative. From 2017 to 2021, Kouzoukas served as the Chief Executive of the Medicare program at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In that role, he worked with patients, policymakers, providers, insurers, and manufacturers to improve health care in the United States. He developed and operationalized a vision to enhance patient-driven health care nationwide, testifying about it before Congress.

As manager of the largest health care payor in the United States, Kouzoukas delivered successively lower payment error rates year over year, brought about extraordinary reductions in Medicare Advantage premiums, and rewired policies and operations across the board in response to the COVID pandemic. Under his leadership, Medicare revolutionized payment for telehealth. His strategic vision maximized access for patients to medical technology innovations, expanded Medicare Advantage supplemental benefits to address chronic diseases and social determinants of health, instituted landmark price transparency reforms, and overhauled the skilled nursing facility and home health payment systems.

Prior to joining CMS, Kouzoukas was a senior executive at UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare business. He has also served as Principal Associate Deputy Secretary and as Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, working with every part of the Department’s broad portfolio. Kouzoukas has built innovative health law practices in the private sector, working with health care providers and life science innovators on new regulations and business models. In addition, Kouzoukas has represented the public as an expert in public administration and health benefits as an appointee to the Administrative Conference of the United States.

Kouzoukas is currently a Board Member and Advisor to entities leading the transformation of health care. He holds a B.A. in political science from George Washington University and a J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law.