January 23, 2018

Wyman chief advisor to lead health strategy office

Contributed photo
Contributed photo
Vicki Veltri

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has tapped Vicki Veltri to serve as executive director of the newly created Office of Health Strategy.

Created by the recently passed state budget, the office is charged with coordinating a cost containment strategy for health care, overseeing the state's all-payer claims database (which was formerly run by the state's insurance exchange), coordinating health IT initiatives and overseeing the Office of Health Care Access and the State Innovation Model program.

"By combining experts, data and goals, the new office, which resides within the Department of Public Health for administrative purposes, will provide integrated, comprehensive leadership to improve healthcare systems and health in Connecticut," Malloy's office said Tuesday.

Veltri was the state's second ever Healthcare Advocate, a position she served in for five years, until departing in 2016 to take a job as Lieutenant Gov. Nancy Wyman's chief health policy advisor. She is also a board member of Access Health CT and Connecticut Partners for Health.

Wyman, who said Veltri is an expert with strong relationships across key sectors, has expressed interest in pursuing a state-level individual mandate to purchase health insurance, now that Congress has repealed that portion of the Affordable Care Act.

"Under [Veltri's] leadership, this office will be able to quickly and cohesively respond to federal changes and ensure Connecticut policy is supporting our goals and moving our healthcare system in the right direction," Wyman said in a statement.

In a statement, Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano said the strategy office "was formed as a result of bipartisan efforts to create one agency tasked with looking at overall state health policy and coordinating state efforts to improve the system and promote access to high quality affordable care for all residents."

In her new role, which begins Feb. 1, Veltri's annual salary will remain at $150,000, according to a Malloy spokesman.

Veltri said the new office will seek to act in a bipartisan and collaborative fashion.

"Connecticut has made strong progress on healthcare coverage and accessibility, but there is much more we need to do to address health outcomes, healthcare costs, health inequities and care delivery and payment reforms," she said.

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