For Immediate Release
November 14, 2011

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Allison leaves KDHE to lead Arkansas' Medicaid program

Topeka—Secretary Robert Moser, M.D., Kansas Department of Health and Environment, announced today the resignation of Andy Allison, PhD, Director, Division of Health Care Finance. Allison has accepted a job as Arkansas’ Division of Medicaid Services Director.

Kari Bruffett, KDHE’s Assistant Secretary for Policy and External Affairs, will serve as Interim Director of Health Care Finance.

“Andy has served the State of Kansas admirably and we wish him the best,” said Moser. “This agency has benefited greatly from his nearly 20 years of Medicaid experience.”

Allison was the Executive Director of the Kansas Health Policy Authority before the agency merged with KDHE on July 1.

“I’ve appreciated the opportunity to work for Governor Brownback, Lieutenant Governor Colyer, Sec. Moser, and the people of Kansas,” said Allison. “The reforms Kansas announced last week are the right direction for Kansas and those receiving services. Implementing KanCare’s essential reforms will ensure long-term stability of the program through improved outcomes for Kansans,” said Allison. “The opportunity to work near family in my wife’s home state of Arkansas is an opportunity I could not let pass.”

Allison’s last day with KDHE is Nov. 22. He plans to begin work in Little Rock on Dec. 5. Bruffett will maintain her role as assistant secretary while also serving as interim director for the DHCF until the agency finds a permanent replacement for Allison. 

“I am confident that Kari’s extensive knowledge of Kansas Medicaid and her leadership experience in the public health industry are a great fit for our Division of Health Care Finance interim executive position as we continue to round out the details of Medicaid reforms in this state,” said Moser.

In addition to leading policy and legislative initiatives at KDHE, Bruffett has also worked this year with Governor Sam Brownback’s Sub-Cabinet Working Group on Medicaid Reform. She was instrumental in the Working Group’s efforts to bring stakeholders into the Medicaid reform process and in the work to improve health and economic outcomes in Kansas.

“Kari played an integral role in the development of our plan to reform the state’s Medicaid system and worked closely with stakeholders throughout the process.  I am pleased Kari will assume this position as we work to implement a system that will improve care for Kansans at a reduced cost to the taxpayers,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D.

The Governor’s Medicaid Working Group includes Colyer, Moser, Bruffett, Sec. Robert Siedlecki (Social Rehabilitation Services), Sec. Shawn Sullivan (Dept. on Aging) and their support staff. This working group will continue to lead the Medicaid reform effort and the implementation of KanCare in coordination and consultation with the teams in place.