Medicaid Who’s Who Interview: Mark Rakowski

Mark Rakowski is the Vice President at Children’s Community Health Plan.

Check out his LinkedIn profile HERE.

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

Children’s Community Health Plan (CCHP) has participated in the Medicaid program in Wisconsin since our inception in 2006, and currently covers 125,000 members, including 3,200 children in a foster care medical home pilot.  We entered the Marketplace in Wisconsin in 2017, and covered 27,500 individuals in 2018.

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

Beyond the 12+ years that CCHP has been in existence, I have been involved in Medicaid from a provider side over the 20 years that I have been with CCHP’s parent, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

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

Being a parent of two boys myself, I am passionate about improving the health and well-being of children and their families, and advocating for low income populations to ensure that they are not left behind.

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

Something sports-related, for sure.  I have already seen the Packers win a Super Bowl in person (sorry, Pittsburgh fans), so it would probably be taking my sons to an NBA Finals game.

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

Traveling with my family.  We gravitate to beaches (St. John is our favorite), and also have enjoyed New York City as well as Europe.

  1. Who is your favorite historical figure and why?

President Lyndon Johnson – I think his domestic accomplishments are often overshadowed by the Vietnam War, however under LBJ sweeping civil rights legislation was passed, including the outlawing of segregation, improved school funding for poor districts, the National Endowment for the Arts that funds public television was established, and LBJ also initiated Medicare, Medicaid and Head Start.  Before he was a politician, he taught disadvantaged Mexican-American kids in Texas where he witnessed firsthand the effects of poverty and discrimination, and made sure that education was a priority of his administration.

  1. What is your favorite junk food?

Frozen mint Oreos

  1. Of what accomplishment are you most proud?

We built CCHP from scratch and have grown from 26 members our first month to the largest Medicaid plan in our service area, covering almost 20% of all Medicaid members in our state, and are now one of the largest Marketplace plans in the state.

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

I don’t really have any regrets that would need a mulligan.  Mistakes are just opportunities to learn.

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

Addressing how health plans can sustain their investments in housing and other social determinants of health

Figuring out how to better engage providers and align incentives so that value-based arrangements are not just pieces of paper.