A local and national leader on managed Medicaid and healthcare policy, Betlach spent nearly two decades with the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), Arizona’s Medicaid agency; Betlach served nine years as AHCCCS director and eight as its deputy director.
Governor Doug Ducey announced Betlach’s retirement today, November 8, 2018, stating,
Tom is the model of a servant leader, someone whose innovative thinking paired with institutional knowledge motivated and inspired. I value his health care and finance expertise, and deeply appreciate all he has done to lead a nationally recognized, cost-effective program that provides quality healthcare for our state’s most vulnerable populations.
Betlach’s expertise in Medicaid managed care also made him an excellent choice to recently rise to the role of president of the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD). The current NAMD director Matt Solo explained it was more than policy smarts that landed Betlach the position,
It’s Tom’s passion for the mission, deep knowledge of Medicaid, and genuine desire to mentor the next generation that has earned him national respect and have helped create a lasting legacy. It’s been my great privilege to watch NAMD thrive during the past six years that he has served as vice president, president, and past president. The Association, his fellow Medicaid directors, and the Medicaid program itself are all stronger today because of his leadership.
In an AHCCCS press release, the agency detailed Betlach’s service to the state.
“During his tenure at AHCCCS, Arizona’s Medicaid program underwent significant transformation. An unprecedented economic recession that began in 2009 forced a $2 billion cut in program funding and widespread enrollment freezes. As the recession thawed, health care became a national issue. Arizona policy makers elected to restore and expand program eligibility, a change that added health care coverage for 400,000 individuals.
Mr. Betlach’s vision for AHCCCS drove program integrity, value, and innovation. The Department of Behavioral Health Services merged with AHCCCS in 2016, paving the way for the agency to integrate physical and behavioral health services under single health plans, a major delivery system milestone. Today, 84 percent of AHCCCS members are enrolled in integrated health plans that are better able to treat co-occurring physical and behavioral health conditions in a cost-effective manner.”
Betlach retires from a 27-year career of service under five different governors. Prior to joining AHCCCS, he served Arizona as the state budget director for five years. Betlach will remain in his position as AHCCCS director through January 4, 2019.
Read the full press release from AHCCCS