FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 30, 2015) – Today, Governor Matt Bevin and Health and Family Services Secretary Vickie Yates Glisson announced plans to develop a transformative Medicaid program for Kentucky. Governor Bevin has requested Mark D. Birdwhistell, a former Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, to assemble a team of experts to assist in the drafting of a Medicaid waiver solution for the Commonwealth that addresses the financial unsustainability of the current Medicaid program.
“Mark Birdwhistell is one of the most knowledgeable individuals in the country on this issue. With his expertise, we are going to develop a viable solution that is tailored for Kentucky’s needs,” said Governor Bevin. “Our state is financially in trouble and cannot afford to continue down the current Medicaid path that we are on. We have an opportunity to develop a transformational program that improves health outcomes, encourages personal responsibility and does both in a fiscally sustainable manner. This is exactly what we intend to do.”
“Leading Kentucky economists agree that the health care jobs predicted by the Deloitte study have not materialized, rendering the suggestion that Medicaid expansion pays for itself invalid,” said Glisson. “We need to be better stewards of our resources and use all options available to us to benefit the health and wellness of all Kentuckians.”
“The people of Kentucky deserve a sustainable Medicaid program that balances accountability and long-term affordability,” said Birdwhistell. “I am honored to be asked by Governor Bevin to continue my career's work in serving the people of Kentucky by transforming Medicaid. I appreciate UK making me available to provide my expertise to this effort.”
Mark Birdwhistell has served the Commonwealth of Kentucky for over 35 years as a former Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services of Kentucky, Health Plan CEO and Medicaid Director. Birdwhistell has a special expertise in the field of Medicaid policy. He is currently Vice President, Health Affairs for UK HealthCare at the University of Kentucky.
Birdwhistell was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Pikeville College of Osteopathic Medicine in May 2008. He earned his Master of Public Administration from the University of Kentucky Martin School for Public Policy and undergraduate degree from Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky.