Kathleen Nolan has been actively engaged in the national dialogue during one of the most transformative periods in the history of Medicaid. Her Medicaid reform and innovation expertise includes Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation, managed care expansion, payment reform, delivery system alignment of physical and behavioral health, managed long-term care services and supports, and advances in health information technology.
Kathleen has a well-established network of national and state health care contacts including federal and state government agencies, foundations, think tanks and providers. She has finely honed skills in translating a best practice from one state or market to another. She has a strong working knowledge of the federal rule-making process and its implications. Her experience with state leaders gives her a firm grasp on the many ways that states weigh their options, make decisions about their programs, and implement reforms.
As division director of health for the National Governors Association (NGA), and then as director of state policy for the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD), Kathleen has earned a unique perspective on state policy making. In both roles, she was a respected and persuasive voice for governors and Medicaid directors in health policy discussions, industry forums and the media. She convened national and state leaders to foster collaboration, find common ground, share promising practices and lessons learned, and advance implementation of health care reform.
Joining NAMD shortly after its launch, Kathleen was instrumental in shaping the strategic direction of the organization. She managed a portfolio of state technical assistance projects on a range of policy and programmatic issues. She led the organization’s efforts to assist states in tackling major Medicaid challenges including behavioral health integration, delivery system reform, ACA implementation, and overall agency leadership. Most recently, Kathleen helped analyze the proposed managed care regulations and began to prepare states for their implementation. She envisioned and managed the annual NAMD State Medicaid Operations Survey which provides insight into how Medicaid directors are managing increasingly complex programs while driving system reform.
At the NGA, Kathleen convened state leaders on critical and timely health policy issues and aided strategy development. She managed 20 federally-funded and foundation projects including delivery system reform, public health improvement, and health information technology. During her tenure, she led the NGA effort to convene governors, legislators and others in the State Alliance for e-Health, and helped states navigate their choices in the early days of the ACA.
Kathleen has also held senior health policy positions with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the Institute of Medicine. Before moving to Washington, she was a regulatory and legislative affairs program specialist for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Kathleen earned her master’s degree in public health from the George Washington University, and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
When not working or spending time with her sons, you will find Kathleen with a good book or at a baseball game. She was a Cubs fan before it was cool.