Gary Jessee, Leesa Allen, and Mari Cantwell | April 2022

According to the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) in 2021, Medicaid directors spent significantly less time working on strategic initiatives and program innovations than they would like. Because of competing priorities, only 25% of their time is spent on key focus areas compared to their goal of 40%. Sellers Dorsey experts, and former state Medicaid Directors, Gary Jessee, Leesa Allen, and Mari Cantwell explored strategies, innovations, and lessons learned in the key programmatic areas of value-based purchasing, managed care procurement, and managed care organization (MCO) contract oversight in the following videos.

1. Value-Based Purchasing and Quality Improvement

Challenges and strategies for balancing standardization and flexibility within value-based purchasing programs.


2. Managed Care Procurement

Managed care procurements present both opportunities and challenges for state Medicaid programs and MCOs.


3. Managed Care Oversight

Effective contract oversight requires the right tools and balancing accountability with administrative burden.


CLICK HEREto watch the full recording.


Gary Jessee, Managing Director
Gary Jessee, is a former Medicaid Director for Texas and oversees the firm’s services aimed at helping Medicaid managed care plans, states, vendors, and others to align around priorities within the Medicaid program.

Leesa Allen, Director
Leesa Allen, leverages her more than 26 years of health care experience, including as a former Medicaid Director for Pennsylvania, to address the programmatic needs of clients such as hospital coalitions, state Medicaid agencies, and other public entities.

Mari Cantwell, Director, California Services
Mari Cantwell, is the most recent former Medicaid Director from California, where she oversaw the expansion of coverage to more than three million additional Californians through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), development and implementation of the Medi-Cal 2020 Waiver, and development and release of the CalAIM proposal in 2019.

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