Health Benefit Exchange Authority

DC Agency Top Menu

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Nine District Residents Appointed to the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (HBX) Standing Advisory Board

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Appointees with expertise in health care, health advocacy, and policy analysis to assist HBX in establishing vibrant health exchange.

Today, the Executive Board of the DC Health Benefit Exchange (HBX) unanimously voted to appoint nine outstanding District residents to the Health Benefit Exchange’s newly established

Standing Advisory Board (SAB). Pursuant to the Health Benefit Exchange Establishment Act of 2011 (DC Law 19-94), the Board is directed to appoint members to a Standing Advisory, for which the Board shall solicit recommendations, and consult on insurance standards, covered benefits, premiums, plan, technology system development, and any other policy or operational issues within the executive board’s discretion.

“I am very pleased that we tapped nine outstanding individuals with varying degrees of expertise and professional experiences to assist the Health Benefit Exchange Authority in the execution of its responsibilities to improve health care in the District of Columbia,” said Dr. Mohammad Akhter, chairman of the HBX Board.  “Creating the Standing Advisory Board brings us one step closer to building a vibrant and robust Exchange for the residents and businesses in the District of Columbia.”

The HBX Establishment Act requires the HBX Board to establish a Standing Advisory Board with residents that have expertise related to at least one of the following categories: (1) Health professionals; (2) Health insurance consumers; (3) Disease and demographic-specific advocacy groups; (4) Commercial sector health plans; (5) Public sector health plans; (6) Health insurance brokers; (7) Health care consumer interest advocacy; (8) Health care foundations; (9) Exchange consumers; or (10) such other interests considered necessary.

The HBX attempted to select at least one candidate that met each of the listed groups, understanding that there may be cross-over.  At least one agent or broker was to be appointed the SAB.  With staggered terms, board members will begin their work immediately. 

The appointees to the SAB include:

Karen Johnson – Karen Johnson has been with United Healthcare since 2007 and is currently the Executive Director of the United Healthcare Community Plan.  Ms. Johnson is also a registered nurse and attorney, and has worked in variety of healthcare settings, gaining experience on both the payer and provider side of the Health care continuum.  Ms. Johnson was chosen to satisfy category 4, commercial sector health plans, and was appointed for a 2-year term.

Barry Lewis – Barry Lewis has been an anesthesiologist at Washington Hospital Center since 2003, and was previously with Johns Hopkins  and Sibley Hospitals.  Dr. Lewis also serves as a Medical Board Executive for the DC Medical Society and as a member of the D.C. Health Information Exchange Board.  He was chosen to satisfy category 1, health care professionals, and was appointed for a 2-year term.

Dania Palanker – Dania Palanker has been the Senior Health Policy Advisor for National Women’s Law Center since 2011.  Ms. Palanker has been tracking the implementation of ACA and the establishment of health exchanges in particular on a professional basis since the passage of the legislation.  She was chosen to satisfy category 3, demographic-specific advocacy groups, and was appointed for a 2-year term.

Billy MacCartee –Billy MacCartee has been the President of MacCartee Medical Management, Inc. (First Financial Group) since 1996.   As an insurance broker, Mr. MacCartee has over 200 corporate clients in the mid-Atlantic area. Mr. MacCartee was chosen to satisfy the mandatory requirement of having a broker (category 6) on the Standing Advisory Board and was appointed for a 3-year term.

Jill Thorpe –Jill Thorpe is the general counsel for AFrame Digital, a health IT company providing remote monitoring solutions for seniors and patients with chronic conditions in home, senior living, and long term care settings.  Through her profession, Ms. Thorpe has gained familiarity with the ACA generally and in particular with efforts to promote innovative models of care and payment. Ms. Thorpe was chosen to satisfy categories 2 and 9, health insurance and Exchange consumers, and was appointed for a 3-year term.

Kevin Dougherty – Kevin Dougherty has been an employee at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Capital Chapter for over 19 years, serving as a Counselor, Care Manager, and Clinical Supervisor.  Mr. Dougherty currently serves as Vice President of Programs and Services at the Chapter and his responsibilities include overseeing the development, delivery and evaluation of programs and services. Mr. Dougherty was chosen to satisfy category 3, disease-specific groups, and was appointed for a 3-year term.

Stephen Jefferson –Stephen Jefferson is a Stage-4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor, an active member and volunteer of the DC Cancer Consortium, and an active member of the Ward 8 Health Council. Mr. Jefferson is particularly interested in addressing healthcare disparities and the importance of primary care early detection and treatment compliant issues. Mr. Jefferson was chosen to satisfy categories 2 and 9, health insurance and Exchange consumers, and was appointed for a 4-year term.

Claire McAndrew – Claire McAndrew is a Senior Health Policy Analyst at Families USA, a national non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high quality, affordable coverage for all. In that position, Ms. McAndrew tracks exchange establishment efforts nationwide and manages advocacy work on exchanges, both as it pertains to federal policymaking and to provide technical assistance to state-based advocacy organizations. Ms. McAndrew was chosen to satisfy category 7, health care consumer interest advocacy, and was appointed for a 4-year term.

Chris Gardiner – Chris Gardiner is the founder of GKA, P.C., a minority-owned certified public accounting and management consulting firm domiciled in the District of Columbia and has served as its chairman for the past 25 years. Mr. Gardiner is currently a member of the Board of Directors of United Medical Center, the District of Columbia’s not-for-profit hospital corporation, and previously served on the Board of Directors of Howard University Hospital.  Mr. Gardiner was chosen to satisfy categories 2 and 9, health insurance and Exchange consumers, and was appointed for a 4-year term as well as to serve as chairman of the Advisory Board.