DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos announced today that Deputy Secretary Robin Gary Cummings, M.D. will lead the Division of Medical Assistance and lead a team to transform Medicaid’s operations. In this enhanced role, Dr. Cummings will oversee efforts to improve existing operating processes and identify opportunities to deliver Medicaid services more efficiently and effectively.
"Dr. Cummings is a North Carolina native who is well-known and respected for his career as a cardiovascular surgeon," said Secretary Wos. "Since leaving the active practice of medicine, Dr. Cummings has demonstrated proven leadership skills in the health care industry. He understands first-hand how Medicaid affects beneficiaries and providers and that will greatly benefit DMA during this transformation."
Among the major challenges facing DMA is retaining and recruiting talented individuals in the division, as well as ensuring greater precision in budgeting and forecasting. Last week, DHHS announced contracts with two leading service firms - Alvarez & Marsal and Navigant Healthcare - which will assist Dr. Cummings in improving and strengthening Medicaid operations. DHHS also released an Ernst & Young report that reinforced the need for operational efficiencies and recommended a wide variety of changes to improve forecasting capabilities.
"The historical challenges facing Medicaid have been well documented, and these challenges are now being compounded by unprecedented change in the health care industry," said Dr. Cummings. "To preserve Medicaid for future generations, we must improve and strengthen the operations of the state’s Medicaid program. I look forward to working with the expertise in the division to accomplish this worthy goal."
These new responsibilities are in addition to Dr. Cummings’ current role as DHHS Deputy Secretary of Health Services and Acting State Health Director.