Medicaid Who’s Who Interview: Carolyn Yocom

Carolyn Yocom is Director of Health Care at the U.S. Government Accountability Office

Check out her LinkedIn profile HERE.

Which segment of the industry are you currently involved?

All of it—and none of it—at the same time.  GAO goes anywhere the federal dollar goes, so we interview CMS and the states regarding their Medicaid programs.

How many years have you been in the Medicaid industry?

If you count my days in direct care, it’s been over 35 years.

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

Educating, learning, serving, working on the country’s most difficult problems.

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

Being present in every moment, being the best me possible.

What do you enjoy doing most with your personal time?

Hiking—it’s a family thing—exploring the outdoors.

Who is your favorite historical figure and why?

Harriet Tubman—she was strength and goodness in a time of inhumanity.  She could have run away and been free, but she stayed to help others be free.

What is your favorite junk food?

I have to go with cheese puffs…they’re the best!

Of what accomplishment are you most proud?

My two daughters, one is a teacher, one will be by next fall.  They believe in giving back and helping others. 

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

Mostly golf (smile).  I really believe that all my mistakes have made me “me.”

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

This is the toughest question.  I think Medicaid has generally struggled with two broad issues:

(1) the sustainability of the Medicaid program

(2) how to balance flexibility with accountability.


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