Key architect of MassHealth 1115 waiver will lead efforts to improve care for individuals with most significant medical, social, and behavioral health needs.
BOSTON, MA – February 12, 2024 – Commonwealth Care Alliance® (CCA), a mission-driven healthcare services organization that offers health plans and care delivery programs designed for individuals with the most significant needs, welcomes longstanding Massachusetts health policy leader Amanda Cassel Kraft as its Chief Operating Officer.
A senior leader at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) for more than a decade, Cassel Kraft was an architect of the groundbreaking MassHealth 1115 waiver and shepherded major reforms to advance health equity and care delivery for millions of people across the state. In her new role at CCA, Cassel Kraft will lead the organization’s core business and IT operations, including claims administration, member services and the enterprise project management office, to meet the medical, social, and behavioral health needs of its members in Massachusetts and across the country. She will begin at CCA on February 19.
“As a health plan and provider that has proudly partnered with MassHealth for more than 20 years, we have long admired Amanda’s innovative work as leader for the Medicaid program and her stewardship to advance health equity and improve behavioral health for people throughout the Commonwealth,” said Chris Palmieri, President & CEO of CCA. “Amanda is a vital addition to our executive team, particularly as we continue to invest in our core operations, including claims administration and payment integrity which complements our renowned clinical model, and focus on improving the care experience for our members and provider partners. We look forward to welcoming such an influential contributor to Massachusetts’ success as a national leader in healthcare.”
Cassel Kraft most recently served as Assistant Secretary and Medicaid Director at the Massachusetts EOHHS, where she oversaw MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program. During her time at MassHealth, Cassel Kraft led the development and negotiation of the state’s expanded 1115 waiver, a five-year, $67 billion agreement with the federal government to support nation-leading accountable care and health equity initiatives, behavioral health reforms, and funding for safety net health systems. She also implemented major policy and care delivery initiatives, such as risk-based accountable care covering more than 1 million MassHealth members; a statewide roadmap to help residents better access mental health and substance use treatment; pharmacy rebate initiatives that achieved hundreds of millions in annual savings for the state; and more than $500 million of new federal funding for home and community-based services.
“Amanda is a talented leader whose policy and business acumen helped steer our Commonwealth’s healthcare system through some of its most difficult times, while also achieving our most significant recent victories,” said Tom Glynn, member of CCA’s Board of Directors. “Her ability to develop and drive forward initiatives that enhance care for those who need it most, all while building strong relationships across our healthcare community, will be a tremendous asset for CCA’s team.”
Cassel Kraft earned a Master in Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University. She lives with her husband and two kids in Belmont, Massachusetts.