Baker makes first appointments to oversee MassHealth, Health Connector

22 Jan 2015 4:53 PM | Deleted user
retrieved Jan 22, 2015 |  Boston Business Journal  |  Jessica Bartlett 

Gov. Charlie Baker has appointed two people to manage the Health Connector and MassHealth, and has elevated the MassHealth role to a higher level in the organization.

The new executives will be charged with leading two organizations that Baker has criticized for contributing to a $765 million state budget deficit, and that have seen significant turmoil over the last year as the state grappled with instituting the Affordable Care Act and a revised online health care marketplace.

In a press release sent on Thursday, Baker said Daniel Tsai would run MassHealth, the state's medicaid system to help low income residents. His title will be assistant secretary, an elevated role that will answer to Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders.

The move coincides with a December recommendation from the Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute to elevate the Medicaid director role to a higher decision-making authority.

"This change in designation will allow for enhanced coordination between MassHealth and other state agencies and empower policy, payment and service reforms needed to benefit members and the Commonwealth," the administration said in a release.

Tsai currently works as a partner in McKinsey & Company's Healthcare Systems and Services practice, and has co-lead the firm's Medicaid service line. He will replace Kristen Thorn.

Louis Gutierrez was also appointed to be the next executive director for the Massachusetts Health Connector, the organization that oversees the website to sign up for health insurance.

Gutierrez, who has spent the last seven years as a principal in IT consulting firm Exeter Group and on the board of directors of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and the New England Health Exchange Network, will replace Jean Yang.

Yang departed the organization on Jan. 16 after two years into the role, saying she would transition to a different role within the health care market.

Gutierrez will serve under Administration and Finance Secretary Kristen Lepore, who serves as the chair of the Health Connector Board of Directors.

"I am confident in Daniel's ability to fill this new and expanded role as assistant secretary to facilitate further cooperation among agencies who assist and care for our Medicaid population, and Louis' talent will be a welcome voice and mind for those families and individuals searching for quality and affordable healthcare," Baker said in a statement.

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