Debra Peterson-Smith
Deborah Peterson Smith

Debra Peterson-Smith

Senior Consultant

Health Management Associates

Atlanta, GA

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Debra Peterson-Smith has extensive managed care experience spanning operations leadership, state and federal regulations, member engagement, and network growth.

Prior to joining HMA, Debra was chief experience officer with Peach State Health Plan. In this role, she directed member and provider call center activities, membership enrollment and eligibility activities, community outreach, marketing, and communications. She also had oversight for the marketplace and Medicare programs and served as the lead for the local Georgia health plan integration activities for the Centene acquisition of WellCare.

Debra held several senior leadership roles during her 16 years with Peach State Health Plan, including chief performance officer, senior vice president of operations, and vice president of regulatory affairs and communications. In these roles, she provided oversight of new program and product implementation, compliance and regulatory affairs, state reporting, and business and data analytics. She directed operations expansion planning, documentation preparation, and submission to gain regulatory approval for expansion into additional Medicaid regions. She also built infrastructure and operational support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace product launch, diversified product offerings and doubled the health plan membership over a three-year period.

Debra’s expertise in Medicaid managed care, ACA marketplace, Medicare and commercial healthcare programs, National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), and Utilization Review Accreditation Commission (URAC) makes her a trusted advisor regarding the growth and performance of managed care plans.

Debra has a Bachelor of Arts degree in labor studies from Rutgers University.