Tom Dehner Named Permanent Medicaid Director

Tom Dehner, who has served as acting Medicaid Director since Beth Waldman’s departure in January, has been named by HHS Secretary Judy Ann Bigby as the permanent director. Tom has been a great friend to the health care access and advocacy community, even during times when they were not supposed to be friendly to us. We think it’s a great appointment and offer our congrats to Tom. Here’s the Secretary’s announcement:

As Medicaid Director, Tom is responsible for MassHealth as a whole, and he will have the authority to run the entire Medicaid program. In addition, because MassHealth serves members across all of our EOHHS agencies, the Medicaid Director works closely with our EOHHS Assistant Secretaries to ensure that MassHealth collaborates with other agencies to coordinate and enhance services across the Secretariat.

Mr. Dehner has served as the Office of Medicaid’s Acting Director since January 2006. Previously, Mr. Dehner served as Deputy Medicaid Director and was responsible for managing MassHealth’s operational and clinical work, including the MassHealth Operations Unit, which enrolls eligible individuals, pays provider claims and manages customer service. His accomplishments include the management of an enrollment outreach grant program that has awarded over $3.5 million in grants to community-based organizations and the creation of an agency-wide initiative to enhance program integrity efforts.

From 2003-04, Mr. Dehner was Chief of Staff for the Commonwealth’s Division of Medical Assistance. In this role, he advised the Commissioner and directed senior management in setting organizational priorities and implementing strategic initiatives. Mr. Dehner also served as Deputy General Counsel for the Senate Committee on Ways and Means from 1999-2003.

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2 Responses to Tom Dehner Named Permanent Medicaid Director

  1. Pingback: A Healthy Blog » Thanks, Tom. Tom Dehner to Leave Medicaid Director Post

  2. Anne Cabot says:

    Congrats to Mr. Dehner. Given the importance of MassHealth and Medicaid in the context of Health Care Reform and the 1115 Waiver, I think this appointment is long overdue, and the delay has been a disservice to the program. To date, the HCFA blog appears to be giving a light touch to the actions and decisions (or lack thereof) of the current Administration; however, I think it’s important to recognize the challenges before the Medicaid agency and the need for solid direction and leadership from the Governor and EOHHS Secretary. People close to MassHealth know that it is in rough shape. With the former Division of Medical Assistance dissolved, MassHealth has become a splintered shadow agency–lacking in focus, organization, and direction. Staff departures are up. Positions remain vacant. Resources are scarce. Units are scattered. I hope Mr. Dehner is empowered and trusted to take this program forward, and has the support of the Administration. All eyes are watching and hoping for the best. Good luck.

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