An Interview with Michael R. Smith
a Principal in Mercer’s government sector . . .
Mike, you recently joined Mercer from CMS. What was your role and major focus of your position?
As the former Director of the Division of Community Systems Transformation in the Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group, a group within the Center for Medicaid and CHIP services, I was responsible for directing the division's grant programs as well as the the efforts to diffuse learning from demonstrations into Medicaid long term services and supports (LTSS) programs. Prior to employment with CMS, I served in leadership capacities within county, state, and non-profit organizations as a deputy administrator, chief of staff, and executive director, respectively. Integrating Medicaid-funded home and community-based services (HCBS) into the fabric of everyday life for people with physical, intellectual and age related disabilities has been the hallmark of my career.
How has the ACA Repeal/Replace affected your focus at Mercer?
What do you see are the challenges states are facing at this time regarding this topic?
Under the ACA, states have expanded their efforts toward greater utilization of HCBS for individuals needing long term services and supports. As of 2015, expenditures for . . .
An Interview with Dr. Laura K. Nelson, MD
a Principal in Mercer’s government sector and a board-certified psychiatrist . . .
Laura brings extensive Medicaid managed care clinical and administrative expertise to the Mercer team in the areas of mental health, substance use disorders, and intellectual/developmental disabilities. Her experience ranges from direct care within inpatient and outpatient settings to state-level executive leadership positions in public health, behavioral health, and intellectual/developmental disabilities.
Prior to Mercer, she served as Arizona’s state behavioral health director.
Dr. Nelson, what do you see as major, current challenges related to behavioral health for states?
AHCA/ACA. One significant, and perhaps the most obvious, challenge is preparing for whatever happens related to the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Healthcare Act. All states are waiting to respond to what could be some . . .