Medicaid Industry Who’s Who Series: Elena Nicolella

Medicaid Who’s Who: Elena Nicolella – Executive Director, New England States Consortium Systems Organization (NESCSO)






  1.  What is your current role and in what sector of the industry?

   A: The New England States Consortium Systems Organization is a private, non-profit whose mission is to support State Government Health and Human Service agencies meet their goals.  We focus on: providing training and resources related to Medicaid to State employees, pursuing multi-state procurements, and supporting the effective use of information technology to support the Medicaid Enterprise.

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

 A. 20 years (yikes!)

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

   A: Supporting the delivery of publicly-financed services and supports in ways that are responsive to the needs of people as opposed to the requirements of specific programs.

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

   A: Finish all the ironing.

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

   A: Day trips around New England with the family.

  6.  Who is your favorite historical figure and why?

    A. She is only “historical” to me – but my grandmother.  She was a character!

  7.  What is your favorite junk food?

   A: Olneyville NY System Hot Wieners (it’s a Rhode Island thing)

  8.  Of what accomplishment are you most proud?

   A: Remembering to learn something every day.

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

  A: So many….in general, implementing an initiative without deliberately taking the time to understand the impact on others.

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

   A: As States hold their breaths waiting for the outcome of new health care legislation or regulation, I think it is important to take the time to understand, embrace, and fortify their core values and whether or not they are implementing their programs in service of those values.  This will help guide States’ responses to new mandates or opportunities.