Editor’s note: Roby Brock, with our content partner Talk Business, wrote this report. He can be reached at [email protected]
Dr. Andy Allison, a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University, will return to Arkansas to lead the state’s Medicaid Division at the Department of Human Services.
Arkansas’ former Medicaid director, Gene Gessow, resigned in October for family reasons. The state’s Medicaid program is undergoing a potential massive overhaul as Gov. Mike Beebe (D) attempts to curtail costs growth in the health care safety net program.
Allison works for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment as the executive director of the Division of Health Care Finance, overseeing that state’s Medicaid program, Children’s Health Insurance Program and state employee health plans. He also is a founding board member and current President of the National Association of Medicaid Directors.
He received his bachelor’s degree in History from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia before earning a master’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University and a doctorate in economics from Vanderbilt University.
“Andy has extraordinary qualifications and is well-respected by his peers,” DHS Director John Selig said Monday. “He knows Arkansas, he knows Medicaid and he is a proven innovator.”
Allison will have an annual salary of $125,000 and will begin his duties Dec. 5.
Beebe, lawmakers, DHS officials and health care stakeholders are discussing significant changes to the state’s Medicaid system. Beebe has said repeatedly that a budget crisis is looming as early as July 2012. He has called for a change to the “fee-for-service” system and is exploring a “bundled payment” system for reimbursing health care costs in Medicaid.