. Naff launched and spent 18 years heading a Florida nonprofit that created a children’s insurance program that worked in concert with Medicaid that, according to the news release below, became a model for the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). (Arkansas’s version of the program is called ARKids.) She later led an insurance exchange in Florida.
Heading DMS is a big job.
“Arkansas has been leading the nation with its innovations in Medicaid programs and operations. Over the last year, we’ve worked aggressively to design and develop major transformation efforts in Medicaid, including developing a new model of care for our highest-cost, high-need beneficiaries,” said DHS Director Cindy Gillespie. “The steps we’re taking today will help us operationalize these transformations and ensure success in the years to come.”
Gillespie has hired Rose Murray Naff as the new DMS Director. Naff will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Division, reporting to the DHS Deputy Director for Health/State Medicaid Director Dawn Stehle. Stehle has served as Interim DMS Director, in addition to her role as Deputy Director for Health/State Medicaid Director since her appointment a year ago.
“Rose knows both Medicaid and insurance, a combination that is hard to find,” Stehle said. “We recognized that our next DMS Director needed a unique resume – Medicaid, managed care and insurance – to successfully oversee the implementation of our Arkansas Medicaid reforms that no other state is doing. We’re delighted Rose is joining our Medicaid leadership team at this critical time.”
Naff launched and spent 18 years as the Executive Director of Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, a non-profit created in Florida law to establish a Children’s Health Insurance program in partnership with the Florida Medicaid program. There she worked to provide health insurance to one million previously uninsured children. Florida Healthy Kids was the model for the national Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) created by the U.S. Congress in 1997. In Arkansas, the CHIP program is called ARKids First.
Later, at the State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Rose served as Chief Performance Officer implementing strategies to improve business processes and customer experience for 1.2 million Floridians who required professional licenses. In 2010, Rose became Executive Director of Florida Health Choices Inc. This unique insurance marketplace was established by Republican leadership in the Florida Legislature prior to the Affordable Care Act to develop innovative insurance products and affordable, quality healthcare for individuals and small businesses. After passage of the ACA, Florida Health Choices continued as the non-ACA insurance exchange option for Floridians.
“I’m truly excited to be joining the team at DHS and Governor Hutchinson’s administration in Arkansas. The challenges Arkansas faces in DMS are not new to me. My experience with significant implementations and ongoing operations will be a good fit,” Naff said. “Plus, this opportunity allows me to return to my family’s home state after so many years. My mother, grandfather and great grandmother were all Arkansans.”
DMS is responsible for Medicaid, ARKids First, Arkansas Works, the state’s nationally-recognized Patient-Centered Medical Home program, and beneficiary education. Later this year, the Division also will oversee the launch of a new Medicaid Management Information System, which processes $7.5 billion in payments annually. The Division also is in negotiations with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services on two waivers – Arkansas Works 2.0 and the provider-led organizational care model, which Naff will join.
Naff will work with the Stephen Group, DMS staff and others over the coming months to redesign the Division so that it is better able to manage the new models of service delivery DHS is launching, including dental managed care, Arkansas Works 2.0, and the new model of provider-led organized care, the first phase of which begins in October. Paula Stone, who currently serves as the Assistant Director in the DHS Division of Behavioral Health Services, will move to DMS and serve as the Deputy Director of Innovation and Delivery System Reform, a new position focused solely on new Medicaid service delivery models. Stone, who has a Master’s Degree in Social Work, has spent her career in the behavioral health field. She ran an outpatient clinic in Florida and worked for a managed care company in New Jersey before returning home to Arkansas in 2009 to work for DHS, where she is responsible for oversight of behavioral health treatment for children, youth and families in Arkansas. She also has been instrumental in the creation of the new Medicaid organized care model for beneficiaries with behavioral health needs and developmental disabilities.
Stone will work in tandem with DMS Deputy Director Tami Harlan who is over the traditional Medicaid programs. The DMS structure and business processes will remain as is until the redesign is completed.
The changes in DMS are part of ongoing re-structuring of DHS that began in 2017 to make the agency more efficient and programs more effective. The hiring of Naff completes the senior Medicaid leadership team at DHS, as she joins Craig Cloud, Director of the new Division of Provider Services and Quality Assurance, Jay Hill, Director of the new Division of Aging, Adult and Behavioral Health Services, Mary Franklin, Director of County Operations, and Melissa Stone, Director of Developmental Disabilities Services in leading the state’s Medicaid programs. Naff begins her new role on Aug. 14.