NAMD Conference Offers Reflection on 2020, Contemplation of Health Policy in 2021

Members of PCG’s Health team attended the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) virtual conference from November 9th – November 11th.  The conference breakout sessions showcased Medicaid Directors sharing various strategies for how they are navigating the COVID-19 public health emergency, re-envisioning behavioral health, and advancing health equity. We also had a chance to hear from several Medicaid members throughout the event, giving us a chance to better understand the customer experience.

The keynote presentation by Dr. Dayna Matthew, the Dean of the George Washington University Law School, focused on challenges to address the longstanding racial and ethnic disparities that impact not just Medicaid and the broader healthcare system, but American society as a whole. Former Obama Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Administrator Andy Slavitt and former Trump FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb both presented their distinct perspectives from the past four years and what the next four years might bring.

Lastly, we heard from current CMS Administrator Seema Verma. She discussed how her administration approved 25 new IMD Substance Abuse waivers, established a rural health improvement waiver program (CHART), and highlighted the Home and Community Based Services toolkit to strengthen program infrastructure over the past three years.  Looking forward, Administrator Verma predicts there will be increased focus on streamlining administrative processes, particularly around State Plan Amendment and waiver approvals, as well as increased utilization of value-based payment models for the long-term care market in the next administration.

Please contact Sean Huse ( or Matt Sorrentino ( if you want access to the attendee list or session recordings from the event.

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