Health Care Authority names Daniel Lessler new chief medical officer for Medicaid, PEB

OLYMPIA — Washington State’s Health Care Authority has selected Dr. Daniel S. Lessler as the new chief medical officer for the state’s Medicaid program and Public Employees Benefits. His appointment is effective May 13.

Dr. Lessler is a longtime medical professor at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine and has served as senior associate medical director for Harborview Medical Center since January of 2012. He also served earlier as associate medical director of Harborview, beginning in the late 1990s.

“Dr. Lessler is well known and respected in Washington State health care,” said HCA Director Dorothy F. Teeter. “He will be a powerful addition to our team as we clear the way for the largest expansion in Medicaid’s history, boosting our enrollment by 1.2 million up to 1.5 million or more, not counting more than 300,000 current PEB members, retirees and their dependents.

“Implementing national health care reform under the Affordable Care Act will require fundamental changes in how we interface with our provider community as well as clients, and Dr. Lessler will bring both his vision and his practical experience to that job.”

“I look forward to joining the Health Care Authority team and the challenges that face us,” Lessler said. “We are on the cutting edge of reforms that will bring fundamental change to the way tomorrow’s health care is purchased and delivered.”

Lessler was appointed to the faculty at the School of Medicine in the early 1990s. Throughout his career as a board-certified general internist, Dr. Lessler has maintained an active primary care practice. He has participated in efforts both locally and statewide aimed at improving the quality and cost effectiveness of health care.

A native of Connecticut, Lessler holds a bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford University. He also earned his medical degree at the Stanford University School of Medicine and a master’s in health administration from the University of Washington.



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