Updated List of Gray Administration Executive Appointees

See the attached list.

Kevin Wrege

Founder & President

Pulse Issues & Advocacy LLC

Office: 202-625-1787

Mobile: 202-253-4929

4410 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150

Washington, DC 20016

. Agency — Updated 02/23/11 Appointee Fenty carryover interim Fenty carryover permanent Fenty Admin. Other Other
. Chief of Staff Gerri Mason Hall
. Child and Family Services Agency Roque Gerald (received letter to serve as interim; not announced) x
. City Administrator Allen Lew x
. Clean City Coordinator
. DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Ayris Scales
. DC Public Library Mayor does not appoint
. DC Public Schools
. DC Sports and Entertainment Commission
. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Nicholas Majett x
. Department of Corrections
. Department of Disability Services Laura Nuss (MO 2011-34) x
. Department of Employment Services Rochelle L. Webb
. Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services Kenneth B. Ellerbe
. Department of Health Dr. Mohammad N. Akhter
. Department of Health Care Finance Wayne Turnage
. Department of Housing and Community Development Robert Trent (MO 2011-24)
. Department of Human Resources Judy Banks
. Department of Human Services Clarence Carter (received letter to serve as interim; not announced) x
. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking William White
. Department of Mental Health Steve Baron x
. Department of Motor Vehicles Lucinda Babers x
. Department of Parks and Recreation Jesus Aguirre x
. Department of Public Works William O. Howland, Jr. x
. Department of Real Estate Services Brian Hanlon x
. Department of Small and Local Business Development Antonio Hunter
. Department of Transportation Terry Bellamy (interim) x
. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services Neil Stanley x
. Department of the Environment Christophe Tulou x
. Deputy Mayor for Education De’Shawn A. Wright
. Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services BB Otero
. Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor L. Hoskins
. Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Paul A. Quander, Jr.
. General Counsel to the Mayor Brian Flowers
. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Millicent West (received letter to serve as interim; not announced) x
. Mayor’s Office of Budget and Finance Eric Goulet
. Mayor’s Office of Communications Dr. Linda Wharton Boyd, Director of Communications; Doxie A. McCoy, Senior Communications Manager
. Mayor’s Office of Community Relations and Neighborhood Services Francisco Fimbres (Washington Hispanic article — http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF&sl=es&tl=en&u=http://www.washingtonhispanic.com/nota6774.html&rurl=translate.google.com&twu=1&usg=ALkJrhgKzPabj7ytHtPzCcPyA0ZWlPMdYA)
. Metropolitan Police Department Cathy Lanier x
. Office of Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs Soohyun “Julie” Koo x
. Office of Boards and Commissions Ronald R. Collins
. Office of Cable Television Eric E. Richardson x
. Office of Community Affairs Stephen Glaude
. Office of Contracting and Procurement James Staton, Jr.
. Office of Ex-Offender Affairs Charles Thornton
. Office of Human Rights Gustavo F. Velasquez x
. Office of the Inspector General
. Office of Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining
. Office on Latino Affairs Roxana Olivas
. Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs Jeffrey D. Richardson
. Office of Motion Picture and Television Development Crystal Palmer
. Office of Planning Harriet Tregoning x
. Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs Janene Jackson
. Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization Ollie Harper, Jr. x
. Office of Risk Management Phillip A. Lattimore III
. Office of the State Superintendent of Education Hosanna Mahaley
. Office of Unified Communications
. Office of Veterans Affairs
. Office of Women’s Policy and Intiatives Terese Lowery
. Office of the Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan
. Office of the Chief Financial Officer
. Office of the Chief Technology Officer Robert Mancini
. Office of the Medical Examiner
. Office on African Affairs Ngozi Nmezi
. Office on Aging Donna Dunston (interim)
. Secretary of the District of Columbia Cynthia Brock-Smith
. St. Elizabeths Hospital
. Superior Court of the District of Columbia Mayor does not appoint
. Taxicab Commission Mayor does not appoint
. University of the District of Columbia
. Washington Convention Center Authority Mayor does not appoint
. Youth Advisory Council Cedric Jennings
.
.
.
. Green = EOM staff

NY Agents Meet to Strategize on Exchange Issues

N.Y. insurance agents to plot response to health reform March 11

A meeting involving several insurance trade groups in New York March 11 will seek to develop a unified response to federal health reform and the role agents will play in the state.

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York has invited several state insurance producer groups, including the New York State Association of Health Underwriters, for the meeting in Albany, N.Y.

The IIABNY said the agenda for the meeting in Albany, N.Y., will include discussion on how New York will carry out new federal health insurance mandates, including the forth-coming New York health insurance exchange.

“Since federal health care reform became law last year, our legislative advocacy team has made a top priority of ensuring a role for producers in the health insurance exchange,” said IIABNY’s board chairman David M. Gelia in a statement. “This face-to-face chat with other members of the New York producer community will help us all create an effective plan for meeting that objective.”

Organizers say they hope the various groups will agree on common approaches for influencing how the New York exchange will work and protecting the role of producers in it.

“Health insurance is complex, with many coverage and cost-sharing options,” Gelia noted. “Consumers need professional insurance advice as they sift through the choices. We want to make sure that the exchange makes that advice available to them.”

President Barack Obama signed the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March 2010. Under the law, every state must set up and operate a health insurance exchange by 2014. The exchanges will be competitive insurance marketplaces offering varieties of plans that meet certain benefits and cost standards. Small businesses and individuals whose employers do not offer health insurance will be able to purchase coverage from the exchanges; the law requires members of Congress to do so.

The IIABNY board of directors last fall created a health care reform task force, headed by Jack Smith of Newburgh, N.Y.-based William A. Smith & Son.

The task force is studying the issues surrounding the law’s implementation; reviewing existing models for state exchanges; and developing guidance for the New York Insurance Department.

The meeting is part of the process for creating the recommendations.

The IIABNY more than 1,750 insurance agencies and their 13,000 employees.

Kevin Wrege

Founder & President

Pulse Issues & Advocacy LLC

Office: 202-625-1787

Mobile: 202-253-4929

4410 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150

Washington, DC 20016

Washington Post: Mayor Gray’s Top Appointees and Their Salaries

The mayor’s executive team

Some employees in Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s executive office make more money than their counterparts in the administration of former mayor Adrian M. Fenty.

“Will Agents Continue to be in the Mix?”

image002.jpg

(Excerpt from the Life and Health News, February 16, 2011)
Agents Likely to be Part of Exchange System

WASHINGTON BUREAU — The role that insurance agents play in the health insurance marketplace in 2014 and beyond will likely be left up to the states, according to Joel Ario, head of the insurance exchange bureau at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Ario said states will also have flexibility in determining the role of agents in a new “Navigator” system that is supposed to help consumers and small businesses use the new health insurance exchange distribution system that is supposed to be created by the Affordable Care Act, the legislative package that includes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

PPACA opponents are trying to repeal the law, change it or block implementation.

If the exchanges provisions take effect as written, the exchanges are supposed to distribute subsidized health coverage to eligible individuals and small businesses starting in 2014.

A state can run its own exchange program, participate in multi-state exchange programs, or let HHS provide exchange services for its residents.

Ario talked about the role of agents here at a conference organized by the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), Arlington, Va.’

HHS would prefer to see states manage the exchanges, and the federal government will step in “only if there is no alternative,”

Ario said.

Some agents fear that the government could use the Navigator system to shut agents out of the health insurance system.

Each state will be able to define its own exchange “Navigator” program, and each state likely will have the authority to decide whether its navigators must be licensed insurance producers, Ario said.

“The intent of the Navigators is not to replace agents,” Ario said, but to reach out to “hard-to-reach populations not currently served by agents.”

This market segment includes the “less affluent who are going to get coverage through the exchanges,” Ario said. “I don’t see a conflict between the agents and the Navigators.”

States will have to figure out the role of brokers in the individual market and state exchanges, but brokers are almost sure to have a presence in the exchange programs set up to serve small businesses,

Ario said.

There is widespread agreement that “if it’s going to work, the agents have to be part of the process,” Ario said.

HHS plans to release the first round of exchange-related regulations in late spring and a second round in the fall, Ario said.

In later comments, Susan Voss, the Iowa insurance commissioner, seem to imply that the states also expect agents to have a strong role in the exchange programs.

She did so by strongly endorsing agent involvement in marketing of all health insurance products, noting that state insurance departments “just don’t have the people to serve the consumer they way the agents do today.”

State insurance officials understand that an insurance policy is an intricate product that is not easily understood by the consumer, and that the agent’s role is critical to having the consumer understand the available choices,

Voss said.

MLR

Another contentious PPACA provision, the medical loss ratio (MLR) provision, now requires insurers to spend 85% of large group revenue and 80% of individual and small group revenue on medical care and quality improvement efforts.

Insurance agents and brokers have argued that producer commissions should be left out of MLR calculations.

Customers are the ones who really pay the commissions, and insurers collect the commissions as a convenience to customers, producers say.

Voss said she believes that agent commissions should be included in the amount of premiums reserved for medical expenses.

Commissions on sales of health insurance policies “don’t go to the bottom line” of health insurers, but instead are fees paid by health insurers only to reimburse agents for the services they provide, Voss said.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., is expected to introduce a bill exempting producer commissions from MLR calculations with bipartisan support in coming weeks. Rogers talked about his work on the MLR issue at the closing session of the NAHU conference.

MEL SCHLESINGER

Mel Schlesinger, incoming NAHU president and an independent agent in Winston-Salem, N.C., said he took Ario’s remarks to indicate that HHS “is pretty open” to hearing what everyone’s views are and is also seeking to be “fair and impartial” in decisions regarding the future health insurance market.

Today, “there are strong incentives for agents to go after the underserved population,” Schlesinger said.”

In the past, agents did not seek out the low-income and moderate-income uninsured, because they could not afford coverage, Schlesinger said.

In the future, “if there are going to Navigators, they still need to be licensed insurance agents,” Schlesinger said. “Even if the Navigators are accessed through call centers, they should be licensed agents. If they are going to make recommendations to consumers, if they are going to understand the industry, why shouldn’t they be licensed?”

WHO CAN GET THE SUBSIDIES?

Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., a senior Democratic member of the House Energy and the Workforce Committee, said he would support a PPACA amendment clarifying that subsidies could be provided to consumers who qualified for the subsidies whether or not the consumers bought insurance “inside or outside the exchanges.”

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE CUTS

Congressional Democrats have argued that enrollees in traditional Medicare are subsidizing enrollees in the Medicare Advantage program, which gives private insurers a chance to provide Medicare coverage.

To pay for Medicaid expansion, coverage subisidies and other PPACA provisions, Democrats put provisions in PPACA that could cut Medicare Advantage funding.

Medicare Advantage program defenders argue that the Medicare Advantage plans provide better, broader coverage and appear to be helping enrollees live healthier lives.

Andrews said at the NAHU conference that he could support adding money back to the Medicare Advantage program if carriers could prove they were providing additional services not currently available through fee-for-service Medicare program.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., is expected to introduce a bill exempting producer commissions from MLR calculations with bipartisan support in coming weeks. Rogers talked about his work on the MLR issue at the closing session of the NAHU conference.

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MD GOP: SLOW DOWN HC REFORM IMPLEMENTATION EFFORTS

GOP says Md. moving too fast on health care reform

By BRIAN WITTE – Feb 17, 2011

By The Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Republicans criticized Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration on Thursday for moving too quickly to implement federal health care reform that could be changed or stopped in federal court cases.

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who is leading the Democratic administration’s effort to implement health care reform, said he is committed to making Maryland a national model for implementing the federal law, and he criticized Republicans he said have "chosen to put politics ahead of our neighbors’ health."

Maryland House Republican Caucus members discussed proposals of their own at a news conference, where they said Maryland Democrats are going too far, too soon.

"It is absolutely critical that consideration be given to alternative options, and legislation isn’t simply hurried through the process in order to gain a political advantage by being the first," said Delegate Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, R-Talbot.

Delegate Anthony O’Donnell, the Republican House minority leader, said Maryland shouldn’t create bureaucracies and spend money on a program that might not exist a year from now.

"We are way out in front of this in Maryland, and we’re saying slow back. We don’t need to be way out in front," O’Donnell said.

Republicans highlighted legislation of their own, including a proposal to amend the state’s constitution so residents are not required to buy a particular health care plan. Republicans also want to work on reforms to medical malpractice laws, which they say are causing doctors to leave the state.

The O’Malley administration has been a strong supporter of federal health care reform. Brown outlined legislation this week to put Maryland on the fast-track to implement it.

Maryland currently has between 700,000 and 800,000 uninsured residents, according to state health department estimates. The administration estimates that number will be cut in half by 2020.

Brown is championing legislation this session that would create a structure and framework to develop the insurance exchange required under federal health care reform. These state-based exchanges are pools intended to offer the same kind of purchasing power that employees of big companies benefit from.

Brown also is backing legislation to align Maryland law with consumer protections in the federal law, including provisions that bar exclusions from insurance because of pre-existing conditions. The lieutenant governor also is supporting a measure to create a council to bring public agencies and the private sector together in hopes of improving health care quality and reducing costs.

Maryland has received more than $100 million in federal grants to implement the federal law. That includes a $6.2 million grant to start forming the health exchange. Parts federal health care reform already have been enacted, including a ban on excluding children from coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

Copyright © 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Kevin Wrege

Founder & President

Pulse Issues & Advocacy LLC

kwrege

Office: 202-625-1787

Mobile: 202-253-4929

4410 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150

Washington, DC 20016

National Underwriter: Key Federal Regulator Speaks to Agents and the Exchange

Ario to NAHU: Agents Likely to be Part of Exchange System

By ARTHUR D. POSTAL

Published 2/16/2011

WASHINGTON BUREAU — The role that insurance agents play in the health insurance marketplace in 2014 and beyond will likely be left up to the states, according to Joel Ario, head of the insurance exchange bureau at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Ario said states will also have flexibility in determining the role of agents in a new “Navigator” system that is supposed to help consumers and small businesses use the new health insurance exchange distribution system that is supposed to be created by the Affordable Care Act,

the legislative package that includes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

PPACA opponents are trying to repeal the law, change it or block implementation.

If the exchanges provisions take effect as written, the exchanges are supposed to distributed subsidized health coverage to eligible individuals and small businesses starting in 2014.

A state can run its own exchange program, participate in multi-state exchange programs, or let HHS provide exchange services for its residents.

Ario talked about the role of agents here at a conference organized by the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), Arlington, Va.’

HHS would prefer to see states manage the exchanges, and the federal government will step in “only if there is no alternative,” Ario said.

Some agents fear that the government could use the Navigator system to shut agents out of the health insurance system.

Each state will be able to define its own exchange “Navigator” program, and each state likely will have the authority to decide whether its navigators must be licensed insurance producers, Ario said.

“The intent of the Navigators is not to replace agents,” Ario said, but to reach out to “hard-to-reach populations not currently served by agents.”

This market segment includes the “less affluent who are going to get coverage through the exchanges,” Ario said. “I don’t see a conflict between the agents and the Navigators.”

States will have to figure out the role of brokers in the individual market and state exchanges, but brokers are almost sure to have a presence in the exchange programs set up to serve small businesses, Ario said.

There is widespread agreement that “if it’s going to work, the agents have to be part of the process,” Ario said.

HHS plans to release the first round of exchange-related regulations in late spring and a second round in the fall, Ario said.

In later comments, Susan Voss, the Iowa insurance commissioner, seem to imply that the states also expect agents to have a strong role in the exchange programs.

She did so by strongly endorsing agent involvement in marketing of all health insurance products, noting that state insurance departments “just don’t have the people to serve the consumer they way the agents do today.”

State insurance officials understand that an insurance policy is an intricate product that is not easily understood by the consumer, and that the agent’s role is critical to having the consumer understand the available choices, Voss said.

MLR

Another contentious PPACA provision, the medical loss ratio (MLR) provision, now requires insurers to spend 85% of large group revenue and 80% of individual and small group revenue on medical care and quality improvement efforts. Insurance agents and brokers have argued that producer commissions should be left out of MLR calculations.

Customers are the ones who really pay the commissions, and insurers collect the commissions as a convenience to customers, producers say.

Voss said she believes that agent commissions should be included in the amount of premiums reserved for medical expenses.

Commissions on sales of health insurance policies “don’t go to the bottom line” of health insurers, but instead are fees paid by health insurers only to reimburse agents for the services they provide, Voss said.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., is expected to introduce a bill exempting producer commissions from MLR calculations with bipartisan support in coming weeks. Rogers talked about his work on the MLR issue at the closing session of the NAHU conference.

MEL SCHLESINGER

Mel Schlesinger, incoming NAHU president and an independent agent in Winston-Salem, N.C., said he took Ario’s remarks to indicate that HHS “is pretty open” to hearing what everyone’s views are and is also seeking to be “fair and impartial” in decisions regarding the future health insurance market.

Today, “there are strong incentives for agents to go after the underserved population,” Schlesinger said.”

In the past, agents did not seek out the low-income and moderate-income uninsured, because they could not afford coverage, Schlesinger said.

In the future, “if there are going to Navigators, they still need to be licensed insurance agents,” Schlesinger said. “Even if the Navigators are accessed through call centers, they should be licensed agents. If they are going to make recommendations to consumers, if they are going to understand the industry, why shouldn’t they be licensed?”

WHO CAN GET THE SUBSIDIES?

Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., a senior Democratic member of the House Energy and the Workforce Committee, said he would support a PPACA amendment clarifying that subsidies could be provided to consumers who qualified for the subsidies whether or not the consumers bought insurance “inside or outside the exchanges.”

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE CUTS

Congressional Democrats have argued that enrollees in traditional Medicare are subsidizing enrollees in the Medicare Advantage program, which gives private insurers a chance to provide Medicare coverage.

To pay for Medicaid expansion, coverage subisidies and other PPACA provisions, Democrats put provisions in PPACA that could cut Medicare Advantage funding.

Medicare Advantage program defenders argue that the Medicare Advantage plans provide better, broader coverage and appear to be helping enrollees live healthier lives.

Andrews said at the NAHU conference that he could support adding money back to the Medicare Advantage program if carriers could prove they were providing additional services not currently available through fee-for-service Medicare program.

now requires insurers to spend 85% of large group revenue and 80% of individual and small group revenue on medical care and quality improvement efforts.

Insurance agents and brokers have argued that producer commissions should be left out of MLR calculations.

Customers are the ones who really pay the commissions, and insurers collect the commissions as a convenience to customers, producers say.

Voss said she believes that agent commissions should be included in the amount of premiums reserved for medical expenses.

Commissions on sales of health insurance policies “don’t go to the bottom line” of health insurers, but instead are fees paid by health insurers only to reimburse agents for the services they provide, Voss said.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., is expected to introduce a bill exempting producer commissions from MLR calculations with bipartisan support in coming weeks. Rogers talked about his work on the MLR issue at the closing session of the NAHU conference.

Kevin Wrege

Founder & President

Pulse Issues & Advocacy LLC

Office: 202-625-1787

Mobile: 202-253-4929

4410 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150

Washington, DC 20016

DC Dept of Insurance, Securities and Banking Investigated by DC Inspector General

D.C. insurance office’s $13,000 in credit card purchases questioned

By Bob Graham

Posted: February 16, 2011

The D.C. Office of the Inspector General is investigating the D.C. Department of Insurance, Banking and Securities’ use of department credits cards to purchase $13,000 in electronics and promotional merchandise.

Gennet Purcell

Gennet Purcell, who was replaced by incoming Mayor Vincent C. Gray last week, told the Washington Post, which reported the investigation, that the allegations leading to the investigation were motivated by agency staff upset because 12 employees were laid off.

Purcell was replaced by Bill White, a former consultant to the insurance department who took over Feb. 14.

White, who will serve in an acting capacity until confirmed, released the following statement in response to an inquiry about the credit card investigation:

“We are aware of the investigation of this matter by the Office of the Inspector General, and we will cooperate with them. The agency is moving forward and I want to reiterate, I understand our obligation to serve the interests of the people, and that even the appearance of impropriety is to be avoided. I can assure you that under my administration, DISB will adhere to both the letter and the spirit of the law.”

The inspector general is looking into $7,302 spent at Electroworld, a Prince George’s County-based company whose owner knows former Purcell’s husband Will, according to the Post, which cited city records of credit card purchases and interviews with staff contacted by the inspector general’s office.

Investigators also are investigating “electronic sales” purchases at Best Buy, which the newspaper, citing insurance department staff, said was for five television sets for the office to keep track of current events.

Purcell told the newspaper, in a statement through the insurance department, that the inspector general found no wrongdoing and blamed the investigation on employees in the insurance department who were upset about the cost-cutting reduction in staff.

Former Mayor Andrian M. Fenty nominated Purcell, a friend of his wife, to replace Thomas Hampton, who departed suddenly from the position in September 2009.

The inspector general’s office appears interested in determining whether procurement procedures were followed and what connection there may be between Will Purcell and Electroworld and its owner, Nevaldo Bailey, according to the Post.

Three years ago, Bailey bought the Purcell’s home in Rockville, Md., for $585,000, according to state records.

Will Purcell is not a principal or employee at Electroworld, based on the newspaper’s review of public records, although the publication said he his known to its employees.

Kevin Wrege

Founder & President

Pulse Issues & Advocacy LLC

kwrege

Office: 202-625-1787

Mobile: 202-253-4929

4410 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150

Washington, DC 20016

Washington Post: Mayor Backs Down and Strikes Compromise with Catania on United Medical Center Board

The following Post piece presents an interesting early preview of executive vs. council power line-ups on key health issues facing the District…

D.C. Mayor Gray pulls bill that would’ve let him tap United Medical Center chair

By Nikita Stewart

Washington Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, February 16, 2011; B05

Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Tuesday withdrew emergency legislation that would have allowed him to choose the chairman and expand the board that oversees United Medical Center, a Southeast Washington hospital that he wants to privatize.

The hospital, which the D.C. government seized in July in foreclosure, is viewed by some officials as a drain on the city’s dwindling resources, an opinion reiterated by representatives of bond rating agencies whom Gray met with Thursday in New York.

On Friday, Gray (D) proposed expanding the hospital’s 11-member board to 16 to circumvent those on it who don’t share his desire to move quickly to find a buyer for the hospital (formerly known as Greater Southeast Community Hospital). Gray actively sought the resignations of four members appointed by predecessor Adrian M. Fenty (D) but was met with pushback.

By Monday night, however, board chairman Leon Swain Jr. had tendered his resignation and D.C. Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large), chairman of the council’s Committee on Health, had approached D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (D) about striking a compromise. More board members were expected to follow Swain’s lead, with Stephen T. Baron, a Fenty holdover serving as interim director of the Department of Mental Health, resigning Tuesday.

"In exchange for withdrawing the legislation, I would move the mayoral nominees immediately and let the mayor choose the chairman," Catania said in an interview.

"The mayor runs the D.C. government agencies, and he has the right to put whoever he wants in charge," said Swain, who also is chairman of the city’s Taxicab Commission.

Gray’s proposal to stack the hospital board in his favor marked his first visible effort to flex his power as mayor. The compromise also reinforced Gray’s reputation as a leader willing to bend and Brown’s newfound position as mediator.

"Kwame played that role very nicely," Catania said. "I had a point of view that I felt strongly about. The mayor had a point of view that he felt strongly about. Reasonable people can reason together."

Brown said concessions were struck after a series of conversations among the three Monday and Tuesday. "In the past, we may have been going on and on with this situation," Brown said, referring to when Fenty was mayor and Gray was council chairman. "A lot of times, it’s just about communicating."

During Fenty’s tenure, there were standoffs between the legislative and executive branches over everything from baseball tickets to the budget. "The residents are tired of bickering and fighting," Brown said. "They want solutions."

But a solution to United Medical Center problem may be more than a year away.

Gray said he wants to hire an independent consultant to review the hospital’s finances, assemble a request for proposals and find a buyer. "To do this responsibly could take six to 12 months, maybe closer to 12," Gray said.

Entrepreneur George Chopivsky has expressed interest in purchasing the hospital, but Gray said that offer is not on the table at this time. In a previous interview, Gray also dismissed conflict-of-interest concerns about his girlfriend, lobbyist Linda Greene, who has lobbied for Chopivsky in the past.

Although Gray and Catania have agreed on the board, they still differ about the timing of privatizing the hospital.

In 2007, Catania pushed his colleagues to approve $79 million in assistance to New England-based Specialty Hospitals of America to buy the hospital from then-owner Envision Hospital of Arizona despite warnings that Specialty was not fiscally strong enough to operate United. But the hospital risked closing without the government intervention.

By summer, District officials were unimpressed with Specialty’s management, and a court fight ensued, leading to the city’s takeover in July.

Catania said Tuesday that the city still has an obligation to residents, particularly those in wards 7 and 8. United is the only hospital east of the Anacostia River. Catania said he thinks two years is a more realistic timeframe to shore up the hospital’s finances to make it attractive to a "reputable buyer."

"Thank you, Wall Street. I appreciate your concern, but we’re going to do what’s best for our residents," Catania said.

Kevin Wrege

Founder & President

Pulse Issues & Advocacy LLC

kwrege

Office: 202-625-1787

Mobile: 202-253-4929

4410 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150

Washington, DC 20016

Mayoral Press Release on Transition Reports

See the link to all the transition reports in the text of the attached release.

Kevin Wrege

Founder & President

Pulse Issues & Advocacy LLC

Office: 202-625-1787

Mobile: 202-253-4929

4410 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150

Washington, DC 20016

Mayoral Press release on Tranistion Reports 2.16.11.pdf

Gray Administration HHS Transition Report

The Gray Administration yesterday released its transition team reports, including the attached “Transition Report of the Health and Human Services Committee,” co-chaired by Maria Gomez and Peter Edelman. Key findings and recommendations include the following:

Health Care Finance and HIT

The committee recommends the following:

 Lift the hiring freeze on DHCF

 Increase interagency communication (remove silos)

 Leadership should have both finance and policy expertise, and an understanding of the

services provided

 Modify the budgeting process and billing authority of agencies

o DHCF should have authority of agencies who bill Medicaid

o Coordinate all HEALTH spending in District, ie DOH and DHCF on HIV/AIDS

spending, all health related DC agencies and programming – DCPS, CFSA,

DYRS, OSSE, etc.

o Perhaps look at DDS as an example of what works

o How does money come back into other agencies that bill Medicaid?

o Analysis and connection to contracts and procurement?

 Analyze long-term care spending’s impact on Medicaid budget and the implantation of

home and community-based waivers

 Maximize reimbursement opportunities in the following areas:

o Health care reform

o EPSDT

 Clarify and make more transparency the spending related to UMC

 Ensure that reimbursement is conducted in a timely manner

 Continue to improve the claim submission process – is this a process issue or a cash flow

problem?

 Consider the impact of every budget cut from the top down, from Federal match to

community access.

 Conduct a more holistic and systemic view of each cut with stakeholder input (ie cutting

hours for PCA’s while moving skilled nursing to the community)

 Send notices to beneficiaries (needs to be in a timely, efficient, culturally competent) any

time there is change to plan, benefits, access to services

 Divide up school based nursing contracts by more than a single provider (National

Children’s Medical Center) including Howard University

 Invest in providing dental treatment to working-age populations (35-65) for root canals

and similar services related to gum disease which can result in significant savings from

emergency room visits by these patients who suffer problems that could have been

averted through dental services.

 Greater investment should be made in ensuring annual dental screening of children and

working-age populations.

 Dedicate greater emphasis to aligning its HIV strategy with President’s National HIV

AIDS Strategy.

 Increase efforts to coordinate efforts of Departments of Mental Health with Department

of Health given the significant relationship between patients requiring mental health

services but who overuse emergency room and other inappropriate health services.

 Implement program for the All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) in DC to help with

addressing the current cost issues relating to long-term care. Seniors in the PACE

program age in place at home with the support of the PACE site during the day.

 Adopt modest co-pays around Emergency Room visits, as a way of deterring

inappropriate overuse of ERs.

Health Information Technology Recommendations- DCPCA

 Foster Health Information Exchange as a key city service.

 Establish an HIE Policy Board/Commission.

 Continue support for leadership by the Districts DHCF and DCPCA to implement and

build out the District’s HIE across various health care specialties and provider types.

 Develop regulation and governance that allows for appropriate and necessary data

transfer and reporting related to the HIE.

Health Care Financing Recommendations – DCPCA

 Use the progress made on EHR adoption and HIE development towards the

implementation of payment reform in the District.

 Support patient centered medical homes efforts through legislation and Medicaid

payment reform consistent with the intent of Federal health reform.

 Take advantage of both the Federal grant for medical homes planning and the 90%

Federal match for case management and care coordination.

Support the development of an innovative Accountable Care Organization with communitybased

primary care providers at the center, which both helps to preserve Howard University

Hospital and protects investments made into United Medical Center, as well as offers a potential

solution for offering affordable, quality care for Medicaid and Alliance beneficiaries.

Kevin Wrege

Founder & President

Pulse Issues & Advocacy LLC

Office: 202-625-1787

Mobile: 202-253-4929

4410 Massachusetts Ave., NW, #150

Washington, DC 20016

Mayor Gray Transition Report HHS 2 16 11.pdf

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