Former Arizona Medicaid Director and Arizona Budget Director.
Partner, Speire Healthcare Strategies
Tom Betlach joined Speire as a partner to advise government and private sector clients on complex health policy and strategic initiatives. He is a nationally-recognized thought leader on Medicaid and health care policy, known for his expertise in serving complex populations, delivery system transformation, value-based purchasing, managed care and cost containment. Prior to joining Speire, Tom spent 27 years serving in a variety of leadership roles for the state of Arizona. He served five different governors in three different cabinet positions.
Most recently, Tom served as director of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), Arizona’s state Medicaid agency, where he reported directly to the governor. AHCCCS provided health care coverage to 1.9 million Arizonans at an annual cost of $13 billion.
During his tenure, Arizona became an early innovator in leveraging competitive managed care contracting strategies to transform health care delivery. Arizona successfully pursued a multi-year strategy to integrate behavioral health services, expanded the delivery of services to address social determinants of health and pursued value-based purchasing strategies. Arizona remains one of the lowest cost long-term care programs nationally and has maintained high levels of home and community-based placement for persons with long term care needs.
Known for his ability to work across government, Tom was integral to Arizona’s development of a broad coalition to streamline justice system transitions to health care. This multi-pronged, collaborative strategy resulted in a more effective approach to delivering care. The effort aligned well with broader initiatives in the Medicaid program to expand housing and employment support services. Upon his departure, Arizona Medicaid was the third largest housing authority in Arizona. He also led initiatives to develop stronger partnerships with tribal organizations. Through innovative 1115 waivers and other authorities, Arizona created first-in-the-nation models that improved services for tribal members.
Tom serves as a critical Medicaid and health policy resource for policy makers across the country. He led an Arizona/federal government partnership to create new tools that improve services for those dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. Tom has testified on multiple occasions before Congress and his leadership on dual eligible population services is recognized nationally.
Tom served as both vice president and president of the National Association of Medicaid Directors. He currently serves on the board for the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and is a member of the Congressional Budget Office Panel of Health Advisers.
Tom holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Arizona and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Wisconsin.