Medicaid Who’s Who Interview: Krista Drobac

Krista Drobac is a Consultant and Lobbyist in Washington, D.C.

Check out her LinkedIn profile HERE.

Which segment of the industry are you currently involved?

I am a consultant and lobbyist in Washington, D.C. I represent health plans, Medicaid contractors and vendors interested in advancing value-based care. I analyze Medicaid and Medicare policy issues and advocate for change.

How many years have you been in the Medicaid industry?

My first job involving Medicaid was working on Capitol Hill in 2002. I worked for Senators Stabenow and Durbin, and then moved to Illinois where I was the Deputy Director of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, which served more than 2 million Medicaid beneficiaries. That number has increased to more than 3 million today. I returned to D.C. in 2008 and served the Medicaid program at CMS. Finally, I led the Health Division at the National Governors Association’s Center for Best Practices where we sought to help Governors improve quality and lower costs in the Medicaid program. 

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

My passion is social determinants of health. I was deeply influenced by Dr. Jeff Brenner at the Camden Coalition in 2011. He let me spend some time with his integrated team and visit complex Medicaid patients in their homes. I experienced first-hand the challenges of managing housing, nutrition, medication adherence, fall risks, transportation among other things. Through this hands-on experience, I came to the conclusion that to achieve well-being among Medicaid beneficiaries and save money, we must look beyond clinical care. I now lead a coalition called Aligning for Health…trying to do my small part to advance the ball on this topic.

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

I hope to show my kids the world beyond our neighborhood. They aren’t quite old enough yet, but when they can comprehend a broader world, my husband and I want to take them places that will help them understand and empathize with the daily experiences of others less fortunate, which I hope will energize them to seek solutions as I do now. 

What do you enjoy doing most with your personal time?

Skiing of any kind. I don’t get to do it often enough. Of course, skiing with my family is the perfect combination. 

Who is your favorite historical figure and why?

It sounds so boring, but Abraham Lincoln. He was a courageous leader at a time when we needed it. We could use some of his wisdom, wit, grit, oratory skills, self-deprecation and inspiration today  

What is your favorite junk food?

It’s a tough call between Cheetos and Garrett’s Caramel Corn but if pushed on an answer, it’d have to be the caramel corn.

Of what accomplishment are you most proud?

Helping to change federal policy to allow for coverage of remote patient monitoring in Medicare. In 2018, CMS started paying clinicians for asynchronous monitoring of patient biometric data. The future of health care is in the home, and anything we can do to advance health care services where people live is a great accomplishment.

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

High school sports. I didn’t practice enough and rode the bench. But then, I wouldn’t love Garrett’s Caramel Corn so much – life is a series of trade-offs!

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

·         CMMI models testing various approaches

·         Finalizing the MCO rule, and starting the QHP development process

·         Watching North Carolina’s waiver unfold


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