Meet Our Team: Q&A with Gary Jessee, Senior Vice President

Gary Jessee

Senior Vice President Gary Jessee served for several years as Managing Director of the firm’s National Medicaid Consulting Practice. Since 2017, he has led the practice’s tremendous growth through business development and overseeing successful client engagements.

As a former Medicaid Director, Gary leverages his extensive experience with Medicaid managed care, long-term services and supports, Medicaid market advisory and research, and health care policy to design and implement creative solutions for clients such as state aging and Medicaid agencies, managed care organizations (MCOs), private equity firms, and solutions partners.

What brought you to Sellers Dorsey?
When I met Marty Sellers, I was interested in the firm’s culture and focus on improving access and care in Medicaid. Joining Sellers Dorsey presented many opportunities to be creative. I was motivated by the chance to add new services and diversify the firm’s business by leading the National Consulting Practice.

What’s your special area of expertise?
Throughout my career, I have worked in programs focused on supporting individuals’ independence. For example, I have worked with aging populations, individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities, and people with behavioral health needs. My expertise has always been finding ways to improve the user experience while reducing administrative burdens and removing barriers to care.

Who are your typical clients?
My team of former state Medicaid directors and health care executives, known as the National Consulting Practice, provides a wide range of services to all Medicaid stakeholders. My team and I most frequently work with state Medicaid agencies, managed care organizations (MCO), and solutions providers.

What have you worked on recently?
My team has recently been working on MCO procurements nationwide, and they have helped many clients expand into new markets and win new business. In addition, we have been helping states reform their managed care strategies to strengthen the system for years to come. We have helped states at all maturity levels, including those only now transitioning into a managed care delivery system or those wishing to incorporate a focus on health equity into their existing managed care program.

What do you like about working at Sellers Dorsey?
The collaborative spirit at Sellers Dorsey is very important to me. My colleagues represent the best in the business and bring unique experiences to the table. Though we all come from different backgrounds in different states, we all share a common goal. As a firm, we are united in our shared passion for Medicaid and desire to make it the best health system because it supports the most complex and diverse needs of any system.

How has your work changed over time?
When I first joined Sellers Dorsey, I was growing a new service offering for the firm. Five years later, I am now focusing on refining and expanding the National Consulting Practice’s work. I’m looking to identify gaps critical to the success of systems and opportunities to support health equity and other initiatives that states are pursuing.

What do you believe lies ahead in the next couple of years for your clients?
The next big hurdle will be the unwinding of the PHE, which will trigger states to complete Medicaid eligibility redeterminations. Otherwise, some general focus areas will be in sustaining innovations that have been developed, increasing accountability, and improving outcomes.

What is one important thing you have learned during your time at Sellers Dorsey?
Coming from my previous role as Medicaid director in Texas, at Sellers Dorsey I have gained an appreciation for the similarity of challenges that all states face. Although states’ objectives and strategies may vary from one Medicaid program to another, the bottom line is not so different from one state to the next. This lesson is important because states can learn from each other instead of reinventing the wheel.

Do you have a favorite book, movie, quote, or personal hobby you can share?
In our office in Austin, TX, I display a powerful quotation from Pablo Picasso that I find inspiring: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” This sentiment captures the essence of our work at Sellers Dorsey. Our mission is to use our talents to give back and help improve the lives of Medicaid beneficiaries.

To learn more about Gary and his role at the firm, check out his bio here.

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