For Immediate Release: 10/18/2010
Contact: Jim Stevenson, Communications, 360-725-1915 (Pager: 360-971-4067)
(OLYMPIA) – Preston Cody, a veteran state health program administrator, has been selected as the new Director of the Division of Healthcare Services in the Medicaid Purchasing Administration, effective November 1.
Cody will retain his current position as Director of the Basic Health program in the Health Care Authority, the same kind of dual role assigned to several other executive-level directors this year.
“Preston is a nimble manager with broad experience in benefits and government health plans,” said Doug Porter, State Medicaid Director and Administrator of the Health Care Authority. “In these challenging budget times, we need leaders like Preston who can make tough calls and live within the resources we are given by taxpayers and policymakers without sacrificing our long-term goals of quality health care and protecting the most vulnerable populations who depend on us.”
“Preston also brings other strengths to this job,” Porter said. “He is familiar with our providers and the advocates who track our programs. He has a passion for helping others and believes strongly in the common mission of both organizations. Plus, he’s customer services-oriented, data driven and committed to evidence-based purchasing.”
In a major success this year, Cody and his team launched the Washington Health program – an unsubsidized low-cost health plan with Basic Health-type benefits funded entirely by grant funds and without state dollars. In only five months, it has attracted more than 6,000 applicants for coverage that began July 1.
Cody has been with the Basic Health program since 1995, when he joined state service after the military, serving in the U.S. Army during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He served as the program’s Assistant Director among several other assignments before he was promoted to head the program in 2008.
Basic Health is a subsidized health plan aimed at the working poor. It currently has an enrollment capped at about 60,000, with another 120,000 Washington residents on a waiting list.
The Medicaid Division of Healthcare Services includes managing the professional services and benefits for the state’s 1.1 million Medicaid clients, including about 600,000 managed care clients, as well as family programs, children’s medical, care management and chronic care coordination.
Cody will succeed MaryAnne Lindeblad, who has been named Assistant Secretary of the Aging and Adult Services Administration in the Department of Social and Health Services. Her appointment is also effective November 1.