HEALTH INSURANCE LEADER JON KINGSDALE TO DEPART CONNECTOR AUTHORITY, GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES GLEN SHOR AS NEXT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Under Kingsdale's leadership, Massachusetts a model for national health reform; 97 percent of residents insured today
The Governor announced that Glen Shor, Assistant Secretary for Health Care Policy within the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, has been appointed by Board Chairman Jay Gonzalez as the Connector Authority's next Executive Director. Shor's appointment comes as Massachusetts enters the next phase of health reform focused on cost containment and implementing the Obama Administration's new federal health care law.
Kingsdale and the Connector Board, working closely with the Patrick-Murray Administration, have helped make Massachusetts a national model for health reform. Today, more than 97 percent of Massachusetts residents are insured and 400,000 individuals who previously went without coverage now have access to quality, affordable care.
"Jon is one of the most creative and innovative health care leaders in the nation. He has been a tremendous asset in our efforts to expand health care coverage to all Massachusetts residents," said Governor Patrick. "Thanks to our work, more than 97 percent of our residents have access to affordable care. I appreciate all Jon has done to make the Commonwealth a leader in this great undertaking and I wish him well in his future endeavors."
Kingsdale was selected in May 2006 to serve as Executive Director to build and manage the new Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, an independent authority established under the state's landmark health reform law to promote coverage for uninsured residents and set standards for affordable coverage. Kingsdale has worked with board members, insurers, providers, advocates and the business community to implement the law, develop and execute key new programs and build a strong and well-managed organization.
"We helped many people in Massachusetts secure coverage and access to care. In doing so, we also built the model for national reform," said Kingsdale. "I am enormously proud of what the Health Connector has accomplished and grateful for the opportunity to serve."
Within the first year of health reform implementation under Kingsdale's direction, the Connector launched Commonwealth Care and Commonwealth Choice, the state's subsidized and unsubsidized insurance programs for individuals and families. About half of the 400,000 newly insured in Massachusetts have enrolled in health plans through the Connector.
More recently, the Connector has launched a new Business Express program saving small businesses hundreds of dollars per employee per year. Just this week, the Connector announced that it had worked successfully with state and community colleges on a new student health insurance program to offer improved benefits to students with virtually no cost increase.
Kingsdale is credited with helping build consensus among stakeholders, often resolving difficult challenges with unanimous consent in order to move health reform forward and ensure its continued success.
"Jon has a done a great job during his tenure with the Connector and has helped put Massachusetts on the map as a leader in expanding health care coverage," said Board Chairman and Administration and Finance Secretary Jay Gonzalez. "On behalf of the board I thank him for his service and dedication to improving the health of Massachusetts residents."
Because of the Commonwealth's success in implementing health reform, federal officials included several of its components in their own reform package. In particular, the concept of "Exchanges" is based on the experience and success of the Connector. Earlier this year, representatives from 42 states attended a national conference in Boston to understand how such exchanges can be organized and other lessons learned from the Massachusetts experience.
Last year, the Connector won an Innovations in American Government Award from the Ash Center at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In choosing the Connector, the Center noted the Connector's innovation in expanding access to health insurance and its role in promoting national debate on health coverage.
Kingsdale, who has spent more than 30 years as a leader in the health care industry, will step down from his role with the Connector effective June 4, 2010.
Gonzalez has named Glen Shor as the new Executive Director of the Connector. Shor has worked closely with the Connector Board and staff for the last three years as Assistant Secretary for Health Care Policy and Deputy General Counsel within the Executive Office for Administration and Finance. As a leading policy point person for Governor Patrick in implementing health reform, Shor has played a critical role in overseeing successful implementation of key cornerstones of health care reform by the Connector Authority.
"I have had the privilege of working closely with Glen over the last few years on health care policy and finance issues and he is absolutely the right leader for the Connector," said Governor Patrick. "Glen never shies away from a challenge and brings to the table passion, commitment and an innovative way of thinking that will be critical in our efforts to implement national health reform. I look forward to continuing to work with him in this new capacity."
"Glen has been deeply involved in every important decision at the Connector since the beginning and has been a critical part of the success of health reform," said Connector Board member Nancy Turnbull, a senior lecturer in health policy in the Department of Health Policy and Management and the Associate Dean for Educational Programs at the Harvard School of Public Health. "He is an extraordinarily skilled and creative consensus builder and widely respected by all of the stakeholder groups who have worked together on implementing health reform."
"Glen Shor is a terrific choice to succeed Jon Kingsdale as the executive director of the Connector," said Board member Richard Lord, president and CEO of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Inc. "Glen has been intimately involved with the issues and operation of the Connector for the past three years. He is very knowledgeable about Massachusetts health care reform and is the perfect person to lead us through the coming challenges of health care cost containment and federal health care reform."
Shor has had a significant hand in shaping many of the policies, programs and financial decisions of the Connector. In particular, Shor was a major contributor to developing and securing unanimous adoption of "affordability" and "minimum creditable coverage" policies needed to launch the insurance coverage mandate.
He also helped secure full funding for Commonwealth Care and structure affordable, fiscally responsible coverage under the program, including developing procurement strategies and establishing fair enrollee cost-sharing rules.
Moreover, Shor successfully led a team of Connector and Administration staff in the Governor's efforts to preserve funding for coverage for special status legal immigrants, leading to the creation of the Commonwealth Care Bridge program.
In addition to his contributions to expanding health insurance coverage, Shor has been instrumental in strategic planning around health care cost savings. Working with the Secretary of Administration and Finance co-leading the state's Special Commission on the Health Care Payment System, Shor helped develop and secure unanimous adoption of groundbreaking recommendations for health care payment reforms that would contain costs by promoting high-quality, coordinated care.
Over the last several months, Shor has helped promote enactment of national health care reform that rewards the Commonwealth's leadership in expanding coverage and has been an important voice in educating policy makers and the public on the fundamentals of the Commonwealth's reforms.
"I am deeply honored to be chosen to lead the Connector," said Shor. "The Connector has been a national model for expanding coverage, innovating in health care and making decisions in a collaborative manner. I am very excited to work with the Connector Board and staff to expand on these accomplishments, with a focus on helping to successfully implement national health care reform in Massachusetts and make health care more affordable for small businesses, individuals and families."
Prior to joining the Patrick-Murray Administration, Shor was a senior policy director and counsel for in the state Attorney General's office, where he focused on health care, energy and housing, among other areas.
Shor earned a law degree from Harvard Law and graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in History. He lives in Boston with his wife Ellen.