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Medicaid Who’s Who Interview: Bill Lucia

Bill Lucia has decades of experience in the healthcare system industry, specifically in the IT area. Check out his LinkedIn profile.

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

A:  My company, HMS, is a healthcare IT organization that works with multiple Medicaid stakeholders including more than 300 Medicaid payers, 45 Medicaid agencies, at-risk providers and Medicaid recipients to assure the financial integrity of Medicaid and assist our clients in understanding and managing their members.

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

A: I actually started at HMS working with safety net providers who were heavily dependent on Medicaid, 21 years ago.

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

A: My true north and passion is to help make our healthcare more efficient and effective so that everyone can lead healthier lives, not worrying about the cost of healthcare or deciding between healthcare services and putting food on the table.

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

A: I have two — first I’d like to open a shelter for abandoned and abused animals. Its at crisis proportions in our nation and we just don’t do enough. And yes this ties to health because pets can be great emotional support for the chronically ill and disabled. My second is to retire and spend half of my time in Italy living “La Dolce Vita”.

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

A: Even though I travel all the time for business, I still love to travel the world and explore other cultures. I’ve visited over 20 countries but have many more to see.

6. Who is your favorite historical figure and why?

A: Leonardo da Vinci is one of my favorite historical figures. He is best known as the artist who created the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper, but he was a true renaissance man as he was also an architect, musician, engineer, scientist and inventor. Da Vinci was ahead of his time and sketched the first parachute, helicopter, motor car and other inventions that are essesntial to modern day life. His story inspires me to be creative and innovate.

7. What is your favorite junk food?

A: Ok, two…dark chocolate with nuts (which is not junk food, it’s good for you!) and piza (it’s in my blood).

8. Of what accomplishment are you most proud?

A: Leading HMS’s growth from a small services vendor in one line of business to one of the Top 25 healthcare IT companies in th U.S. and focused on a very critical mission of making the healthcare system more effective. We’ve built a “want to” versus “have to” culture at HMS because all of our employees know the value we bring.

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

A:  Ah only one? Well personally, it would be that I wasn’t in town when my Beagle passed away. Holding an animal during it’s last breaths reminds you how fragile life can be and being abe to thank them for unconditional love.

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

A: Well, in no specific order… First, we have to aggressively attack the Opioid crisis, which disproportionately impacts the Medicaid program. Advanced analytics exist to help us do this and crack down on prescribers but also be more predictive about addiciton.

Second, we have to share more data across the healthcare system and across the entire Medicaid program. HMS recently developed a risk intelligence tool, ELLI, that does just that and enables Medicaid Managed Care plans to understand their member at enrollment, accelerating care management, avoiding costly ER visits and better engaging the member by understanding social determinants of health.

Third, we have to be careful about policy changes to Medicaid under the auspices of reform or revoking the Affordable Care Act. States need both flexibility in how to manage their programs but assurances that changes to the federal/state partnership are very carefully thought through to avoid disruption to the members, their families and providers.