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Press Release Executive Office of Health and Human Services Announces Departure of Assistant Secretary for MassHealth Dan Tsai

Amanda Cassel Kraft to Serve as Acting Assistant Secretary for MassHealth
For immediate release:
6/28/2021
  • Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Media Contact for Executive Office of Health and Human Services Announces Departure of Assistant Secretary for MassHealth Dan Tsai

Kate Reilly, Executive Office of Health and Human Services

BostonToday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders announced that Assistant Secretary for MassHealth Dan Tsai is stepping down after more than six years, effective June 29th. Dan Tsai has been appointed Deputy Administrator for the Center for Medicaid and Medicaid Services and Director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services in the Biden-Harris Administration.

As the state’s longest serving Medicaid Director in almost twenty years, Dan brought an in-depth knowledge of Medicaid policy to the job, an ethos of strong collaboration with stakeholders, and a commitment to building a sustainable and robust Medicaid program.

“Dan’s commitment to creating strong partnerships and increasing access to Medicaid has impacted the lives of millions of residents of the Commonwealth,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “Under Dan’s leadership, MassHealth has implemented the most significant restructuring of MassHealth in decades. I extend my deepest thanks to Dan and look forward to continuing the collaboration as he joins the Biden-Harris Administration.”

“It has been my utmost privilege over the past six and half years to serve the 2 million individuals and families who rely on MassHealth for critical health insurance coverage and supports. I am deeply grateful to the Governor and Secretary for their leadership, support and trust in the MassHealth team; and for the partnership and voice of our many enrollees, stakeholders, frontline providers, and health plans,” said Dan Tsai. “Health care coverage and access through Medicaid has never been more important, and I am honored to join the Biden-Harris Administration to continue working toward strengthening our nation’s Medicaid program.”

Working with a strong MassHealth team, accomplishments during Dan’s tenure include:    

  • The most significant restructuring of MassHealth since the 1990’s, including negotiating and implementing a landmark Medicaid 1115 waiver with the Obama Administration.  Under the waiver, the Commonwealth:
    • Secured over $1 billion of annual funding for safety net programs and financing to preserve near universal health care coverage.
    • Began the shift to value based care, with almost 80% of eligible members now enrolled in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).
    • Significantly expanded substance use disorder treatment services, investing more than $219 million over 5 years.
  • Reduced cost growth within the MassHealth program from historic double digit increases year over year to single digit increases while expanding eligibility and benefits. Key strategies included:
    • Established better drug prices as a national leader in negotiating prices with high-cost drug manufacturers and securing over $150 million in savings.
    • Strengthened program integrity measures to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse, capturing more than $500 million annually.
    • Key benefit expansions included coverage for:  full access to Hepatitis C therapies; restoration of adult dental benefits; and, the Medicare Savings Plan for an additional 10,000 seniors.
  • Invested more than $900 million in home and community-based services. Massachusetts remains a top state in the country for rebalancing spending from institutional to community care.
  • Strengthened behavioral health services.
    • Invested over $100 million annually in rate increases for critical behavioral health providers.
    • Established financial incentives to increase additional inpatient psychiatric treatment capacity during in response to needs exacerbated by the pandemic.
  • Provided creative and nimble support to providers and members during the pandemic.
    • Issued $1 billion in provider stabilization funds for hospitals, behavioral health providers, community health centers, nursing homes and community long term services and support providers.
    • Expanded telehealth coverage to all services and provided payment parity.
    • Established a financial and accountability oversight package to improve infection control and financially stabilize nursing facilities.
  • Strengthened the financial stability of federally qualified community health centers for the future.
    • Overhauled the rate methodology for 33 FQHCs investing $100 million annually resulting in significant increases for behavioral health, oral health, and primary care. 
    • Rates for medical and psychiatry will increase by 33%, dental will increase by 65% and behavioral health will increase by 50%.

Amanda Cassel Kraft has been appointed Acting Assistant Secretary for MassHealth. A senior member of the MassHealth team since 2011, Amanda has most recently served as Deputy MassHealth Director.  She holds a bachelor’s degree with distinction from Stanford University and a master’s degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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Media Contact for Executive Office of Health and Human Services Announces Departure of Assistant Secretary for MassHealth Dan Tsai

Executive Office of Health and Human Services 

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services is the largest secretariat in state government and is comprised of 12 agencies, in addition to 2 soldiers’ homes and the MassHealth program. Our efforts are focused on the health, resilience, and independence of the one in four residents of the Commonwealth we serve. Our public health programs touch every community in the Commonwealth.
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