TennCare Director Darin Gordon Selected for Medicaid Leadership Institute

Wednesday, June 16, 2010 | 03:08 pm

 NASHVILLE – TennCare Director and Deputy Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, Darin Gordon, was selected to participate as a Fellow in the 2011 class of the Medicaid Leadership Institute, a national initiative managed by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS). Gordon is one of six Medicaid directors chosen to be part of this initiative designed to enhance the leadership capacity of Medicaid directors to help their programs serve as national models for high-quality, cost-effective care. 

 “Medicaid plays a huge, often underappreciated role in the U.S. health care system. At a time when national health care reform implementation will greatly affect their programs and responsibilities, these six remarkable leaders form an exceptionally talented class for the Medicaid Leadership Institute,” said Tommy Thompson, Former Governor of Wisconsin, who chairs the program’s national advisory committee. “These directors are well positioned to blaze a trail for their states and the nation in achieving better quality care for every taxpayer dollar invested in publicly financed health care.”

 Fellows in the 2011 class of the Medicaid Leadership Institute were selected based on their commitment to public service and improvement of public programs, vision for their agency and for Medicaid’s role in promoting high-quality, cost-effective care, commitment to using data and analytics for program policy improvement and evaluation, and willingness to consider participating in a joint transformational project with other selected Fellows. The Medicaid directors competitively selected to participate in this executive training program are:  

  • Thomas Betlach, Arizona

  • Theresa Eagleson, Illinois

  • Donna Frescatore, New York

  • Darin Gordon, Tennessee

  • Judy Mohr Peterson, Oregon

  • Michael Nardone, Pennsylvania 

 “Each of these six Medicaid directors is essentially the CEO of one of the largest health insurers in his or her state. We are excited to work with these executives who are passionate about maximizing the value of their programs for millions of beneficiaries,” said Melanie Bella, MBA, senior vice president at CHCS.

 The Institute, which is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is designed to enhance the strategic thinking, substantive knowledge, individual leadership, and technical skills that directors need to effectively lead and foster innovation in their state Medicaid programs. The curriculum is designed to be dynamic and relevant to the participants’ interests as well as the current environment at both the federal and state levels.

 Darin Gordon has served as TennCare director since 2006 and has worked for the state of Tennessee since 1996. Under Governor Bredesen’s and Gordon's leadership, TennCare has retained control of its finances, placed full financial risk back with the managed care organizations across all regions of the state, formulated a comprehensive redesign of the state’s long-term care program and refocused TennCare’s management on improving the health care status of its 1.2 million enrollees. Gordon created a management system that provides enhanced analytical capabilities to help assess cost and utilization information and to better inform program decision making. During Gordon’s tenure, TennCare has experienced the lowest cost growth rate since the inception of the program.

 For more information about the Medicaid Leadership Institute visit www.medicaidleaders.org.