WYE RIVER GROUP ON HEALTHCARE DIRECTORS
Jon R. Comola
Ronald E. Bachman
David B. Kendall
Juanita P. Lovett, PhD
Jon R. Comola
Jon Comola serves as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Wye River Group on Healthcare. Jon founded the group in 1997 to champion new solutions and form the basis of support for a new vision for America's healthcare system focused on market-based solutions and public-private partnerships.
Mr. Comola has more than 25 years of experience in health insurance and public affairs. He is skilled at shaping public policy at the state and federal level and has keen insight into the political and healthcare policy environments. For seven years as Vice President, Government Affairs for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, he was responsible for development and execution of all public strategies on the state and federal levels. Jon has also served as an informal advisor on health care issues to office holders and corporate leaders, counseling them in the development and execution of strategies targeted to achieve business development or political objectives.
As a consultant to the US Chamber of Commerce, he worked with the National Chamber Foundation in developing and marketing several important healthcare initiatives, including the Foundation's successful national Health Care Solutions Summits. This series of regional forums provided the opportunity for a cross-section of community leaders from all healthcare stakeholder groups to come together to discuss and debate issues related to the future of healthcare and highlight community-based partnerships that address access, affordability and quality.
Mr. Comola has helped facilitate development of healthcare stakeholder partnerships and alliances to support evolving roles and advance public policy goals in the current turbulent healthcare environment.
Mr. Comola, is a graduate of the University of Texas, Austin and holds a BA degree in Organizational Communications.
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Ronald E. Bachman
Ronald E. Bachman is president and CEO of Healthcare Visions, a thought leadership firm dedicated to advancing ideas and policy initiatives that are transforming the U.S. healthcare market. The major goals of Healthcare Visions are to advance consumer-based solutions to lower the number of uninsureds, improve mental health coverages, develop the concept of consumer-centric Medicare and Medicaid, and advance employer introductions of healthcare consumerism.
Mr. Bachman is also a Senior Fellow of the Center for Health Transformation (CHT), a Senior Fellow at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation (GPPF), and a Senior Fellow at the Wye River Group on Health. Mr. Bachman is an actuary with extensive experience in healthcare strategy for payers, providers and employers. Ron is a retired partner from PricewaterhouseCoopers where he consulted to a broad range of clients including: employers, HMOs, hospitals, physicians, indemnity carriers, BlueCross BlueShield plans, as well as State and Federal Agency clients.
In 2008, Ron facilitated the Georgia Uninsured Work Group and the passage state health reform legislation to reach 500,000 uninsured in Georgia. That legislation has been praised as a new market-based approach to dealing with the uninsured in the United States. Ron is actively working with other states to pass similar reforms and create a coalition of like minded state desirous of market based solutions. As a Sr. Fellow since 2005, Ron has worked on special projects with CHT and Speaker Gingrich regarding the uninsureds, health policy issues, and market transformation ideas.
In 2008, Ron has testified before the U.S. Congress on “Engaging American Ingenuity to Solve the Uninsured Problem.” Ron worked closely with the Bush White House and Treasury on the language and principles of the 2002 Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) guidelines. In 2003 and 2004, Ron worked through the CHT to provide policy input on Health Savings Accounts (HSA). Ron has consulted with various government agencies on national health issues and legislative and regulatory proposals. He has served as a designated expert on actuarial issues to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Congressional Budget Office, the Department of Labor, the National Institute of Mental Health, and several members of Congress.
Ron was instrumental in providing technical and market advice on mental health that resulted in the passage of the 2008 Wellstone-Domenici Parity Act. Mr. Bachman was an expert resource on mental health policy to several members of Congress, including Senator Ted Kennedy and Senator Pete Domenici. During the past two decades, Ron testified in over 30 states on the costs of mental health. He produced several financial studies and analyses of national and state proposals for mental health parity.
Ron is active in several American Academy of Actuaries Work Groups including: Mental Health, Individual Health Insurance, Consumer-Driven Healthcare, Genetic Testing, Mandated Coverages, High Risk Pools, The Uninsured, Small Group, and Healthcare & Tax Credits.
Mr. Bachman is the author of several publications, including “Consumer-Driven Healthcare – The Future in Now”, “Giving Patients More Control” published by the National Center for Policy Analysis. He has written numerous articles such as, “Boomers Will Revise an Aged, Ineffective System” and “Consumer-centric Medicare” both articles co-authored with Newt Gingrich, founder of the Center for Health Transformation. As an advisor to the Wye River Group on Health (WRGH), Mr. Bachman was instrumental in three seminal reports entitled “An Employer’s Guide to Patient-Directed Healthcare Benefits”, “An Employer’s Guide to Health Care Consumerism”, and “An Employer’s Guide to Pharmaceutical Benefits.” Ron is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries Mental Health Parity Work Group that produced the 2005 report entitled, “Mental Health Parity: Often Separate, Usually Unequal.”
A sample listing of other articles and papers written by Mr. Bachman are: Healthcare Consumerism – the basis of a 21st Century Intelligent Health System; HSAs Myths and Facts –The Inconvenient Truths; Clinical Depression – A Bottom Line Issue, If CEOs Only Knew; A Legislator’s Guide to Creating an HSA State; Consumer-centric Medicare; A Roadmap for Legislators on Market Reform for Health Insurance; and Georgia Collaboration Succeeds in Market Reforms.
Ron is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries, a past Board member of the Southeastern Actuaries Club, and past President of the Atlanta Actuaries Club. Mr. Bachman is on the Board of Directors of the National Mental Health Association of Georgia, the Georgia Free Clinic Network, and Skyland Trail.
Ron holds a Masters in Actuarial Science from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is an active member of the Simpsonwood United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ron is on the Board of Directors for the National Mental Health Association of Georgia, the Georgia Free Clinic Network, and a past Board member of the American Heart Association of Georgia. Mr. Bachman is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. He obtained a Masters in Actuarial Science from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
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Terry Humo is a benefits consulting attorney out of Missoula, MT, focusing on group welfare benefits compliance.
Terry formerly was a vice president and benefits consulting attorney with Sedgwick Noble Lowndes, corporate counsel of Intermountain Administrators, and assistant vice president and benefits consulting attorney with Marsh, Inc.
Terry is a contributing editor and author of several books, including the Employers’ Guide to Self-Insuring Health Benefits, Employers’ Guide to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and ERISA Health and Welfare Benefits Handbook, as well as reviewing editor of the Employers’ Guide to HIPAA Privacy, all published by Thompson Publishing Group in Washington, D.C.
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David B. Kendall
David B. Kendall is on the Board of Directors of Wye River Group on Healthcare and has been involved in its activities since inception.
A nationally recognized thought leader, Mr. Kendall is a health policy analyst who has brought new ideas into the national political debate. He has combined health policy theory with political analysis to shape the debates on the uninsured, health care quality, and Medicare reform over the last ten years. As a key part of this work, Mr. Kendall has led several efforts to bring together diverse groups of individuals around a common purpose.
In 1991, Mr. Kendall helped set the stage for the national health care reform debate by bringing to Washington, D.C. the idea of managed competition, a theory developed by the Jackson Hole Group to achieve universal health care coverage through private health plans. He co-created the Jackson Hole East Group to foster discussion and political interest in managed competition.
Mr. Kendall left Capitol Hill to join the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), a centrist think-tank, as Senior Fellow for Health Policy. He has served as a consultant for organizations such as the Institute of Medicine and the Blue Cross-Blue shield Association.
President George Bush’s proposals on Medicare reform and tax credits for the uninsured have grown out of Mr. Kendall’s early policy analysis in these areas. Most recently, Mr. Kendall led an effort to craft a vision and agenda for a consumer-driven health system, which was published in the spring, 2000 issue of The New Democrat Blueprint: Ideas for a New Century.
Most of Mr. Kendall’s publications are available on the PPI website (www.dlcppi.org).
To view them, click here.
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Juanita P. Lovett, PhD
Juanita P. Lovett, PhD, has been a member of the Board of Directors of Wye River Group on Healthcare since 2001. Dr. Lovett is a practicing clinical psychologist who has extensive experience in organizational consulting with both ventures and large corporations. She has also taught at the graduate level at both Columbia and Rutgers Universities. Dr. Lovett has held appointments on several New Jersey mental health boards, including the Board of the New Jersey Forensic Hospital.
As the Program Director for Fair Oaks Hospital, Dr. Lovett established a liaison teaching program with the Rutgers Graduate School of Professional Psychology. As a Phase III clinical trial director with Ciba Geigy, she was responsible conducting international pharma trials.
Dr. Lovett holds a Ph.D., M. Phil. And M.S. from Columbia University and served a three year fellowship at The New York Hospital, Cornell-Westchester Division. She is a member of Sigma Xi and the New York Academy of Science.
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Marcia L. Comstock, MD MPH
Dr. Comstock, President of Comstock Consulting Group, LLC was a co-incorporator of Wye River Group on Healthcare, Inc and served as it Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Board of Directors from its formal inception in June, 2001 until September, 2006. She is also co-founder of the Foundation for American Health Care Leadership.
Dr. Comstock is an experienced consultant on national healthcare policy and the evolving roles of healthcare stakeholders. She has worked at the national, state, and local level with public and private sector entities, trade, and professional associations, applying strategic intelligence, 3rd party advocacy and consensus building techniques to identify and advance elements of a common public policy agenda. A Certified Physician Executive and Fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dr Comstock also has extensive experience directing programs in corporate health and productivity enhancement.
From 1998 to 2001, in addition to healthcare consulting, Dr. Comstock served as Fellow, Health Care Policy & Workplace Issues for the National Chamber Foundation, US Chamber of Commerce. She advised the Chamber president and its’ members on the impact of proposed health-related legislation and assisted the Chamber in advocating for healthcare, safety, and other regulatory issues of importance to American business. She planned, promoted, and implemented national and regional forums to discuss and debate issues related to access, affordability and quality, and to propose solutions to health system deficiencies.
Dr. Comstock's consulting experience spans a cross section of healthcare stakeholders, including employers, business associations, healthcare providers and associations, and pharmaceutical manufacturers. She has consulted with business leaders on issues such as managed care, health risk management, and environmental health and safety. She has worked with a variety of organizations to evaluate the evolving role of different stakeholder groups in healthcare and with professional associations to support emerging roles for their members in the healthcare marketplace.
For 17 years Dr. Comstock served as a Corporate Medical Director, first for AT&T Bell Laboratories from 1981 to 1992, then for Consolidated Rail Corporation from 1992 to 1998. Her responsibilities included development, implementation, and direction of employee-focused health services programs to enhance the health and productivity of the workforce and decrease health-related costs. She served as consultant to senior management on broad-based economic and humanistic health issues
Dr. Comstock received her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and a Master of Public Health from the Medical College of Wisconsin. She is board-certified in internal medicine, preventive medicine and medical management.
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Fellowship programs for both Wye River Group on Healthcare and the Foundation for American Health Care
Leadership are occasionally extended to individuals whose experience and expertise augment that of the principals
in ways relevant to current projects.
Rick Cockrum has been a senior level legislative and government relations executive for over 20 years. In his most recent role as Vice President of Government Relations for Wellpoint, Inc., he managed state government affairs for eight states in the Central Region. Responsible for setting goals that furthered the company’s business interests, his areas of accountability included regulatory approval and business development with governmental entities. He also provided strategic advice in procurement activities and supervised a legislative team in numerous enactments of favorable legislation and defeat of issues detrimental to corporate goals.
While serving as Vice President for Anthem, Inc., Mr. Cockrum managed all government and regulatory affairs, including developing and implementing corporate public affairs agendas. He served as chair of the corporate issues management committee which drafted and adopted the company’s positions on matters of public policy. He was responsible for the corporate strategy on political campaigns including chairing the PAC and supervising all grassroots activities. He participated in numerous mergers and acquisitions to dramatically grow the company. Mr. Cockrum has served on numerous boards and commissions at the state and federal level.
Rick has served as an advocate before Congress and the Indiana state legislature on health care, finance, taxation and other issues. When serving as the Executive Director of the Association of Indiana Counties he was their chief lobbyist and responsible for a spectrum of member services including legal advice, continuing education, technical services and for providing advice on taxation and financial policies. He also served on the board of directors of the National Association of Counties.
Mr. Cockrum holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from Indiana University and a BS from George Williams College. He resides in Indianapolis.
Dana Paul Merry, MPH
Dana Merry has been involved in every major segment of healthcare over the past 20 years including employer sponsored, managed care, pharmaceutical manufacturing, health care services, government, education and business development. He currently serves as the Vice President of Client Relations for MinuteClinic, a wholly owned subsidiary of CVS Caremark.
In his previous roles he helped develop and implement successful business arrangements that lead to improved health care services with the Veterans Administration, regional integrated health systems, national managed care providers, large physician group practices, and Fortune 100 employers. He has conducted more than 150 presentations to employers, associations, community groups, and conference audiences.
His past and present affiliations include the American College of Healthcare Executives, Fellowship in Association for Worksite Health, Society for Human Resource Management, and past regional Chairman of American Heart Association’s “Heart at Work” program.
Mr. Merry earned his bachelor’s degree in Health Education and his master’s degree in Public Health, with an emphasis on Healthcare Management, from the University of South Florida. He resides in Georgetown, TX.
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