- Work Email: INTERNET
- Work Phone: (614) 549-6101work
Barbara Coulter Edwards is a nationally recognized expert in Medicaid policy, including managed care, long-term care, behavioral health and state and federal health care reform.
As director of the Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), she was responsible for a wide array of national Medicaid program policy and oversight, including Home and Community Based long-term services and supports waivers, state plan options, and grant programs like Money Follows the Person and the Balancing Incentives Program, which allow states to support successful community integration for individuals with chronic and disabling conditions. She was also responsible for policy development and oversight of integrated service models for all Medicaid populations, including managed care plans, health homes, and PACE; Medicaid pharmacy coverage and pricing and the federal rebate program; the application of essential health benefits to Medicaid expansion populations under the Affordable Care Act; and federal oversight of state benefit design.
She led the development of a strong focus on behavioral health care within the national Medicaid program, including the development of proposed Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) regulations for Medicaid. She also provided leadership in the development and testing of national quality measures for community long-term services and supports. In this role, she worked closely with states, stakeholders, and other federal partners, including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Administration for Community Living, the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Labor, and Justice.
Barbara served for eight years as director of Ohio’s Medicaid and CHIP programs, the sixth largest Medicaid program in the country. She led significant program reforms, including implementation of Ohio’s comprehensive strategy to promote access to home and community-based long-term services and supports, development of the state’s first Preferred Drug List for outpatient prescription drugs, statewide expansion of managed care to serve Medicaid consumers, and implementation of Ohio’s CHIP program. She served as vice chair of the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Medicaid Directors, and was invited to testify on behalf of state Medicaid programs before committees in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Prior to joining the federal government in 2010, Barbara was a principal at HMA, serving public and private sector clients at a state, local and national level, with a particular focus on improved Medicaid program policy and operations for individuals with behavioral health and developmental disabilities. While with HMA, she served as the interim director of the National Association of State Medicaid Directors, providing services to the nation’s Medicaid programs, including analysis of federal regulations, and represented state interests before the CMS and on the Hill.
Barbara received her Master of Public Policy from The University of Michigan and her bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University.
Barbara enjoys hiking in the mountains with her husband, spending hours in her flower gardens, and dreaming of grandchildren.