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Shannon M. McMahon, MPA

by Stephani Simmons

July 17, 2017

Executive Director, Medicaid Policy,
Kaiser Permanente;

Shannon M. McMahon, MPA, joined Kaiser Permanente (KP) in August 2017 as the executive director of Medicaid policy. In this role, she leads KP Governmental Relations’ national public, regulatory and legislative policy development on Medicaid across KP’s eight regions that serve nearly one million Medicaid members. Ms. McMahon joined KP after a twenty-year career leading state publicly financed health care programs.

In February 2015, Ms. McMahon was appointed Deputy Secretary of Health Care Financing at the Maryland Department of Health. In this role, she served as Maryland’s Medicaid Director. As the chief executive of the Medicaid program, she implemented several initiatives to improve and expand coverage for over 1.3 million members including:

  • Creation and implementation of the first-in-the-nation policy to use presumptive eligibility for Medicaid for individuals with criminal justice involvement;
  • Along with the provider community, collaboratively established a new evidence-based opioid prescribing and payment policy designed to reduce first time opioid prescribing in the state;
  • The integration of substance use and mental health benefits – including residential substance use services –under the authority of Medicaid;
  • Improving and aligning the state’s quality and value based purchasing strategy for managed care;
  • Leveraging CHIP administrative funding to establish programs designed to educate parents about the health effects of home environmental hazards and provide abatement of such hazards.

Previously, Ms. McMahon was the Director of Coverage and Access at the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) where she led Medicaid eligibility, benefit design and purchasing implementation efforts and learning collaboratives for states and the federal government during the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. She is published about the role Medicaid has assumed in the coverage continuum, and the importance of benefit design for high need, high cost patients.

Prior to CHCS, she worked in executive and management-level roles in Minnesota Medicaid, most recently as the Chief Administrative Officer, where she oversaw finance and operations for Minnesota’s three public health care programs. Ms. McMahon also spent several years working on health policy issues as a non-partisan analyst at the Maryland Department of Legislative Services in Annapolis and held the position of senior budget and policy adviser to the Secretary and Principal Deputy Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Health.

Ms. McMahon has a bachelor’s degree in justice from American University and a master’s degree in public administration from Northeastern University, where she was a recipient of a full tuition public policy fellowship.

Ms. McMahon serves on the board of directors of Maryland Health Care for the Homeless and is the Co-Chair of its Public Policy Committee. She is a charter member of the American Council of Political Leaders (ACYPL). She was competitively selected as a delegate of ACYPL’s six member bilateral cultural and political exchange delegation to Vietnam and Thailand in 2012 and lead ACYPL’s 2017 delegation to the People’s Republic of China. She is a past member of the board of directors of the National Association of Medicaid Directors.

Ms. McMahon resides in Howard County Maryland with her husband and two children, both of whom attend the Howard County Public Schools.

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