Leavitt picks 28 Medicaid advisors

Sunday, July 24, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt recently announced the appointments of 28 people who will help craft reforms to curb growth of the Medicaid program.

Former Republican Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist will chair the commission, and former Independent Maine Gov. Angus King will serve as vice chair.

Of the 28 members, only 13 will serve as voting members. They include federal government representatives, state Medicaid officials, and officials from various advocacy and research groups.

The 15 nonvoting members will serve in an advisory role. Additional nonvoting members will include representatives from Congress and two governors. However, the National Governor's Association said they would decline the invitation to join the panel. Congressional Democrats have also said they will not participate in the commission, arguing that the nonvoting advisory role is insufficient.

The committee's initial task is to suggest ways for the program to save $10 billion during the next five years by Sept. 1.

The committee's second report, expected by December 31, 2006, will focus on long-term fixes for the program, specifically on "how to expand coverage to more Americans while still being fiscally responsible; ways to provide long-term care to those who need it; a review of eligibility, benefits design and delivery; and improved quality of care, choice and beneficiary satisfaction," Leavitt said in a release.

The Medicaid Advisory Commission's voting members are:

* Nancy Atkins, commissioner for the Bureau for Medical Services, Department of Health and Human Resources, West Virginia.
* Melanie Bella, vice president for policy, Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc.
* Gail Christopher, vice president for health, Women and Families at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and director of the Joint Center Health Policy Institute.
* Gwen Gillenwater, director for advocacy and public policy, National Council on Independent Living.
* Robert Helms, resident scholar and director of health policy studies, American Enterprise Institute.
* Kay James, former director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
* Troy Justesen, deputy assistant secretary for the office of special education and rehabilitative services, U.S. Department of Education.
* Tony McCann, secretary of health and mental hygiene, Maryland.
* Mike O'Grady, assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
* Bill Shiebler, former president, Deutsche Bank.
* Grace-Marie Turner, president, Galen Institute.

In addition to the voting members, the commission will consist of the following non-voting members:

* James Anderson, president and CEO, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, National Association of Children's Hospitals.
* Julianne Beckett, director of national policy, Family Voices.
* Carol Berkowitz, pediatrician, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
* Maggie Brooks, county executive, Monroe County, New York.
* Valerie Davidson, executive VP, Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.
* Mark de Bruin, senior VP of pharmacy services, Rite Aid; chairman of the policy council, National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
* John Kemp, CEO, Disability Service Providers of America.
* Joseph Marshall, chairman and CEO, Temple University Health System, American Hospital Association.
* John Monahan, president of state sponsored programs for WellPoint; Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association and America's Health Insurance Plans.
* John Nelson, physician, immediate past-president of the American Medical Association.
* Joseph J. Piccione, corporate director of mission integration, OSF Healthcare System.
* John Rugge, CEO, Hudson Headwaters Health Network, National Association of Community Health Centers.
* Douglas Struyk, president and CEO, Christian Health Care Center, American Health Care.