Q&A with Leesa Allen, Director

Leesa works as a Director in the Sellers Dorsey Harrisburg office, where she uses her leadership, Federal and State Medicaid and public policy knowledge and expertise to support the teams and Sellers Dorsey clients. She serves as a subject matter expert to Sellers Dorsey’s client-servicing team and provides strategic guidance to many of the Medicaid financing projects. Leesa also focuses on researching new policies and policy updates surrounding states. Recently, Leesa served as the firm’s executive sponsor of the COVID-19 and National Policy workgroup which provided regular updates on policy developments, CMS waivers, state plan amendments, and enacted federal and state legislation.

Leesa joined the Sellers Dorsey team after 26 years of working at the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, most recently serving as the Executive Deputy Secretary and Medicaid Director for the Commonwealth. She is a 2016 Medicaid Leadership Institute fellow graduate and also served on the National Association of Medicaid Director’s Board as regional representative.  Leesa uses her executive leadership and public policy knowledge and experience to help develop and implement innovative strategies and creative approaches to Medicaid policy, quality, and revenue enhancement initiatives both within managed care and fee-for-service delivery systems, as well as strategic advice and relationship management to clients.

What brought you to Sellers Dorsey?
After over two decades of public service in Pennsylvania, serving in both state republican and democratic administrations as an executive leader and working with both republican and democratic administrations at the federal level on public policies and initiatives to advance access and funding for quality health and human services, I wanted the opportunity to expand my work to the national level.  Through my years in Pennsylvania, I also worked closely with colleagues at Sellers Dorsey and appreciated the expertise and approach that they brought to their work.

What’s your special area of expertise?
Strategic guidance along with policy and programmatic support for states, providers and managed care plans to positively impact access to quality, affordable health care.  In addition, I work with the firm’s technical, policy and legal experts to evaluate the impact of national regulatory and policy changes and guidance on the firm’s clients.

 Who are your typical clients?
Public and private entities, including states, providers, and payers (managed care plans).

What have you worked on recently?
I’ve spent time analyzing these policies and providing analysis of the proposed changes and potential impacts and opportunities in the proposed federal health care policy changes announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and how they might affect the firm and the clients that we serve. I have been leading the Sellers Dorsey team in synthesizing and evaluating the national updates related to COVID-19.  I’m also working with our clients on strategic engagement and planning with public and private entities.

 What do you like about working at Sellers Dorsey?
Coming from a public service career in Pennsylvania, I have appreciated the opportunity to work on projects from a national perspective.  I’m enjoying getting to know new colleagues and clients and using my knowledge and expertise to complement the talented team members that Sellers Dorsey has assembled.

 How has your work changed?
I spent 26 years specializing and providing strategic guidance for the commonwealth.  However, my Medicaid expertise has been at both the state and federal policy levels.  Coming to Sellers Dorsey has allowed me to use both my state and national expertise to support national clients and also private entities versus being viewed more specifically as a Pennsylvania expert.

 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 worked with Sellers Dorsey in support of my work with the Commonwealth.  I have seen how the firm is evolving and am excited about its future.

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