New Medicaid leader focuses on integration, payment reform

November 12, 2013

Medicaid Health Plans of America has a new president and CEO.

Integrated healthcare and payment reform are two efforts of Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA) under its new president and CEO, government affairs veteran Jeff Myers. Myers has succeeded Joe Moser, MHPA’s interim executive director and director of government affairs, who was recently appointed Medicaid Director of Indiana.

“What has become my entrance is how healthcare will eventually become fully integrated in the United States, and provide real value to the folks who are accessing it. Right now, it’s all fragmented,” Myers says. “Insurance has the opportunity to integrate everything.”

Myers, whose presidency began earlier this month, leaves behind his title of senior vice president of policy and government relations at the American Health Care Association.

He says MHPA is an organization that is in the right space at the right time.

“For MHPA, it’s a chance to look at how that integration is going to occur, particularly in managing the Medicaid population-with both the expansion of the ACA and the needs of those subpopulations in Medicaid, which tend to be more challenging than commercial insurance,” he says.

The board wanted to bring someone on that could make the organization a go-to for the issues facing the Medicaid population and the insurers that service it, he says. They predict MHPA will grow in size over the next few years based on where it’s positioned in the industry.

“The real vision is to become a leader to the folks here at the federal level, and also at the state level, that are grappling with how to provide real value to the populations they insure, while simultaneously making sure tax payers are getting the value of their dollar,” he says. “Several years out, if we’re successful, I think MHPA is really going to have an opportunity to bring a lot of the knowledge their members have to decision makers so that decisions are made well moving into the future.”

He says former MHPA CEO Thomas Johnson laid the foundation of the organization well, and he can only continue to build on its future.

“This is the time where Medicaid matures from a fee-for-service, anything-goes unmanaged population,” he says. “Notwithstanding the rollout problems that the ACA has had, folks really believe that in the next couple of years we’re going to see a giant fee change in this environment.”

At MHPA’s annual meeting in October, Myers says the general outlook on payment reform was a positive one, which he was not expecting.

“I thought I’d find people that were nervous, but everyone seemed to say that if only we could do this, we’d provide better value,” he says. “That’s an exciting place to be.”