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Medicaid Industry Who’s Who Series: Sara Hall

Sara Hall is a featured panelist for the upcoming Indiana State Medicaid Spotlight Webinar on November 18th. RESERVE your seat today!

 

Medicaid Who’s Who: Sara Hall – HIP Employer Link program director at the Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning

 1.  What segment of the industry are you currently involved?

A: I work at Indiana Medicaid on the policy side.

 2.  What is your current position and with what organization?

A: I am the HIP Employer Link program director at the Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning in Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration (whew, that’s a mouthful!)

 3.  How many years have you been in the Medicaid industry?

A:  I have been at Indiana Medicaid for a year and a half.  Prior to this, I worked as a Navigator assisting clients at a Behavioral Health Center which is where I first starting working with Medicaid programs and understanding their complexities from a member perspective.

 4.  What is your focus/passion? (Industry related or not)

A:  I am really focused on all Americans having access to quality, affordable healthcare.  Probably sounds like a stock answer, but after working with people as a Navigator I got a look into peoples’ lives.  This was especially true when the ACA was passed and it took Indiana an extra year to get approval for HIP 2.0.  So there was a year when a lot of low income Hoosiers simply fell into the “coverage gap.”  I had the opportunity to see people before and after our alternative Medicaid expansion.  Healthcare really changes lives and I feel privileged to be a part of that.  But, as this audience knows, it doesn’t always work perfectly or as smoothly as it should.  My passion is to continue to make improvements to existing systems and/or help create new systems so that all lives can be improved by healthcare access.

 5.  What is the top item on your “bucket list?”

A: Traveling the Tran-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Beijing.

 6.  What do you enjoy doing most with your personal time?

A:  My 14-year-old daughter is my primary focus.  We like to travel and are planning on backpacking through Belize this summer.  I also like painting, pyrography, and I am currently studying for the GRE….in between watching turn of the century British dramas on Netflix.

 7.  Who is your favorite historical figure and why?

 A: Paul Goodman, because he was a very interesting person who had very interesting ideas.

 8.  What is your favorite junk food?

A:  All of them.  But I really like candy….specifically gummy peaches and Pop Rocks.

 9.  Of what accomplishment are you most proud?

A: Career wise, it would be the development and growth of the HIP Employer Link program I am currently directing.  Personally, it is my daughter and how she is growing into a responsible, smart, bold young woman.

 10. For what one thing do you wish you could get a mulligan?

A: In the second grade, I picked my nose and ate it in front of the whole classroom.  It was a poor decision that haunted me well into third grade.

 11. What are the top 1-3 issues that you think will be important in Medicaid during the next 6 months? 

A:  1.)  Obviously, the election.  Medicaid moves at the whim of politics and it is important that programs are funded, staffed, and properly managed when there are legislative changes so that benefits are not lost or decreased for members. 

 2.)  The results of Managed Care Organizations.  Indiana has been working with managed care for a while, but those contracts got bigger with HIP 2.0.  Over the next 6 months we will start to see the results on a number of our performance measurements.  Many other states are working for MCOs for the first time and will also start seeing more results of those relationships.  It will be important for the MCOs to prove that things are working better under their management. 

 3.)  Addiction and mental health services.  The opioid epidemic has hit Indiana hard (along with many other states).  Our Medicaid programs do not always offer ways for people to gain and maintain sobriety through their current health care plans.  Indiana also has a huge gap in mental health providers in and outside of Medicaid.  If we don’t have enough doctors/counselors/case workers to help people who are suffering it will be difficult to see this epidemic decrease.

Sara Hall is a featured panelist for the upcoming Indiana State Medicaid Spotlight Webinar on November 18th. RESERVE your seat today!