Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and Health and Family Services Secretary Vickie Yates Glisson have requested Mark D. Birdwhistell, a former Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, to assemble a team of experts to assist in the drafting of a Medicaid waiver solution for the Commonwealth, one that addresses the financial unsustainability of the current Medicaid program.
“Mark Birdwhistell is one of the most knowledgeable individuals in the country on this issue. With his expertise, we are going to develop a viable solution that is tailored for Kentucky’s needs,” Bevin said. “Our state is financially in trouble and cannot afford to continue down the current Medicaid path that we are on. We have an opportunity to develop a transformational program that improves health outcomes, encourages personal responsibility and does both in a fiscally sustainable manner. This is exactly what we intend to do.”
Birdwhistell has served the Commonwealth of Kentucky for over 35 years as a former Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services of Kentucky, Health Plan CEO and Medicaid Director. Birdwhistell has experience in Medicaid policy. He is currently Vice President, Health Affairs for UK HealthCare at the University of Kentucky.
“The people of Kentucky deserve a sustainable Medicaid program that balances accountability and long-term affordability,” Birdwhistell said. “I am honored to be asked by Governor Bevin to continue my career’s work in serving the people of Kentucky by transforming Medicaid. I appreciate UK making me available to provide my expertise to this effort.”
Glisson said the health of Kentuckians is at the center of the effort.
“Leading Kentucky economists agree that the health care jobs predicted by the Deloitte study have not materialized, rendering the suggestion that Medicaid expansion pays for itself invalid,” Glisson said. “We need to be better stewards of our resources and use all options available to us to benefit the health and wellness of all Kentuckians.”