Q&A with Elizabeth LaMair, Director

As a Director, Elizabeth provides a strong background in Medicaid and health care policy to the team, using her technical, operational, management, and policy experience to serve Sellers Dorsey’s clients. Her expertise covers a broad range of skills, including Medicaid waiver and managed care program development.

What brought you to Sellers Dorsey?
The people.  I had worked with Gary Jessee and several members of the Sellers Dorsey team at Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).  So, I knew firsthand about the team’s passion and dedication.  I am very fortunate to work with such a talented group of people, and in a firm dedicated to designing better health care strategies and solutions to serve vulnerable populations.

What’s your special area of expertise?
When I started working at HHSC, the agency was still relatively small.  I was the fifth attorney in the General Counsel’s office, so it was all hands-on deck.  Over time, as the agency took on new programs and oversight authority, I had the opportunity to learn about many health and human services programs from the ground up.  I became familiar with the laws, rules, and regulations governing the Medicaid and CHIP programs. I also worked on teams that developed and negotiated State Plan and waiver agreements, program policies, operational requirements, administrative rules, and finally vendor procurements and contracts. I learned about claims administration and management information systems (MIS), enrollment systems, vendor drug programs, and fee-for-service and managed care delivery models.  Over time, my work became more focused on the state’s growing managed care programs, including programs for children, pregnant women, aged and disabled populations, and children in foster care.

I left HHSC in 2015 for another great opportunity at the Texas Council for Community Centers.  As the Healthcare Policy Director, I learned a great deal about community mental health and intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) services and providers.  I helped community centers understand and navigate in the Medicaid and CHIP managed care environment and develop alternative payment model tools and strategies.

Who are your typical clients?
My clients include: managed care plans and providers, community mental health and IDD providers, county healthcare service agencies, and nonprofit healthcare foundations.

What have you worked on recently?
I have worked on a great mix of projects over the past few years at the firm.  For health plan clients, I have helped draft and review request for proposal (RFP) responses, provided legislative tracking and support, developed reference guides and tools, and helped facilitate relationship building with providers and other stakeholders.  I have also worked on several projects to identify quality improvement measures and strategies, and design and implement alternative payment models.

 What do you like about working at Sellers Dorsey?
I enjoy working with a variety of clients, and helping them design innovative solutions that ultimately benefit underserved populations.  The wealth of knowledge at Sellers Dorsey is also amazing.  I can pick up the phone and instantly connect with colleagues who are former Medicaid directors, administrators, and financing experts.

 How has your work changed?
Last summer I moved into the role of Director.  In addition to overseeing a small but mighty team of Medicaid rock stars, I’m acting as project lead on several client engagements.

What is one important thing you have learned during your time at Sellers Dorsey? Alternatively, is there something else you would like to share?
I’m so proud of how Sellers Dorsey has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The firm has provided invaluable support to clients, helping them understand and quickly adapt to the changing health care environment.  Sellers Dorsey has also gone above and beyond to make sure their employees are safe and have the tools and resources needed to work from home.

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