New HHSC Acting Executive Commissioner and Medicaid Director

TDMR received a notification from HHSC today that a new Medicaid director had been named. However, it mentioned that there was a new Acting Executive Commissioner of HHSC about whom we had not received any notification.  There was no release from the Governor’s Office that we could find.

However, on March 13, Governor Abbott named Phil Wilson as Acting Executive Commissioner of HHSC after the resignation of Dr. Courtney Phillips.

Commissioner Wilson comes to HHS from the Lower Colorado River Authority where he led the LCRA as chief executive officer.

Commissioner Wilson has a long and distinguished record of public service in Texas. He previously served as executive director for the Texas Department of Transportation and as Texas’ 106th Secretary of State. Commissioner Wilson’s private sector experience includes serving as vice president of Public Affairs for Luminant, Texas’ largest electric generation company.

He has served on numerous non-profit and private sector boards of directors, including as chair of the Board of Directors of the Austin Chamber of Commerce. Wilson has a Master of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University and a bachelor’s degree from Hardin-Simmons University.

Here is the release on the new Medicaid director

Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Phil Wilson announced today that Stephanie Stephens will head the state’s Medicaid/CHIP Services division. As deputy executive commissioner, Stephens will oversee the division which is the hub for the Texas Medicaid program. She begins her new role today.

“Stephanie’s background serving the public in various health and human services roles has more than prepared her to accept this additional responsibility,” Commissioner Wilson. “Her continued excellence and oversight will carry over to this new role and I’m confident that she will be successful in serving Texans in need.”

“After a thorough, nationwide search for Texas Medicaid director, Stephanie emerged as the strongest candidate in a very competitive field,” said HHSC Chief Program and Services Officer Michelle Alletto. “We are thrilled she has accepted this new role.”

Stephens, who has more than 15 years of experience in Texas health and human services policy, finance, and operations, was previously HHSC’s deputy state Medicaid director. As deputy, she provided strategic direction and oversight of policy and quality for Texas Medicaid and CHIP.

“It is an incredible honor to be able to lead the State Medicaid program and have a positive impact on the lives of Texans,” Stephens said. “With this new role, I’m ready to continue to strengthen and innovate Texas Medicaid and CHIP for the people we serve, while being an effective steward of program resources.”

As incoming director, Stephens replaces Stephanie Muth, who retired May 1 after serving the state of Texas for nearly 25 years. Muth’s accomplishments included modernizing the Texas eligibility system and putting Medicaid clients first by overhauling managed care oversight.

Stephens first joined HHSC in 2008 as a Medicaid and CHIP policy analyst and was promoted internally through the Medicaid CHIP organization and HHSC. Her prior leadership roles have included Senior Policy Advisor and Policy Director in HHSC’s Access and Eligibility Services where she directed strategy, analysis, development, and implementation of eligibility policy for Texas social service programs. Before joining HHSC, she served as a health and human services budget analyst at the Texas Legislative Budget Board and a legislative staffer.


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