Kathleen Hittner, MD has been confirmed as Rhode Island’s next commissioner of health insurance. She replaces Chris Koller, who left office last week for a new position in New York. Hittner is a former Lifespan and Miriam hospital executive, as well as a former chief anesthesiologist for two hospitals. She says she intends to carry on Koller’s work.
“I have met with Chris Koller three times, going over his initiatives, so I understand what’s going on," Hittner said. "There isn’t anything Chris was doing that I think shouldn’t be continued.”
Those initiatives include a push for more primary care for Rhode Islanders with chronic health problems. As commissioner, Hittner’s responsibilities will include setting insurance rates and advocating ways to bring down health care costs for patients while ensuring fair payments to health care providers.