Lunge heading to Green Mountain Care Board

MONTPELIER — Gov. Peter Shumlin has appointed Robin Lunge, one of the top health care reform advisors in his administration, to the Green Mountain Care Board.

Robin Lunge

Robin Lunge

Lunge, Shumlin’s director of health care reform since 2011, will replace Dr. Allan Ramsay, whose term expired in late September, on the five-member board. Lunge will begin serving her six-year term on Nov. 28. The board has regulatory authority over hospitals and insurance companies and is responsible for controlling the growth rate of health care spending.

“I am honored to join the Green Mountain Care Board. Vermonters and Vermont businesses need and deserve high quality and affordable health care. As a board member, I look forward to working collaboratively with health care providers, payers, and consumers to help achieve the goals of improving the health of Vermont, enhancing the patient experience, and reducing the overall cost of care,” Lunge said in a statement.

Lunge has played a major role in crafting Shumlin’s health care reform efforts during his six years as governor. He credited her “deep knowledge of federal and Vermont health care law and policy” in a news release announcing her appointment. Shumlin said Lunge’s efforts, with other top officials, have helped more than 20,000 Vermonters gain health insurance, cutting the state’s uninsured rate to 2.7 percent. That is tied with Massachusetts for the lowest rate in the country.

Lunge also helped craft a wide-ranging agreement with the federal government to transform the way health care is paid for in Vermont. The all-payer model is the first such agreement with the federal government and seeks to replace the fee-for-service model with one that pays health care providers based on health outcomes under a global budget.

Shumlin, in a statement, praised Ramsay’s service and touted Lunge’s credentials.

“I want to thank Dr. Ramsay for his dedication and hard work over these past five years,” the governor said. “His work as part of the Board has helped lay the groundwork for a better, more affordable health care system in Vermont.”

Shumlin said Lunge’s background with his administration makes her best prepared to help the state’s reform efforts.

“I cannot think of anyone more uniquely qualified or better prepared to join the Green Mountain Care Board and complete the important health care reform work ahead,” Shumlin said. “There is no one who has a better grasp on where we’ve been and where we need to go when it comes to health care reform in Vermont. Robin’s depth of knowledge, incredible work ethic, and commitment to this state will serve the Board well.”

Before serving in the Shumlin administration, Lunge worked for legislative counsel for eight years. There she assisted lawmakers from all three political parties on health care, human services and Medicaid budget issues. Lunge also worked for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C., as a senior policy analyst on public benefits issues while on leave from the legislature.

Lunge has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California Santa Cruz, a law degree from Cornell Law School and a Masters of Health Care Delivery Science from Dartmouth College.

neal.goswami@timesargus.com

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