James Jan-Feb 2021 web - Flipbook - Page 30
MELVIN “MEL” LINDSEY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR
ALL ASPECTS OF AMERIGROUP’S HEALTH PLAN
OPERATIONS IN GEORGIA, ENSURING MEMBERS RECEIVE ACCESS TO QUALITY CARE.
PRIOR TO JOINING AMERIGROUP IN 2000, HE
HELD VARIOUS EXECUTIVE POSITIONS IN
LEADING PUBLICLY TRADED COMPANIES IN THE
HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY. LINDSEY, A CHICAGO
NATIVE NOW IN ATLANTA, EARNED A BACHELOR’S DEGREE FROM MACMURRAY COLLEGE IN
ILLINOIS AND A MASTER’S DEGREE IN HEALTH
ADMINISTRATION FROM GOVERNORS STATE
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS. PUBLISHER PHIL
KENT IS THE INTERVIEWER.
JANUARY/ FEBRUA RY 2021
PHIL KENT Amerigroup Georgia is one of the state’s healthcare management organizations, and its parent company
Anthem operates Medicaid plans in 26 states, making it
one of the nation’s largest providers of healthcare for public
programs. What is its specific mission in Georgia?
I also learned what it was like for people who didn’t have
a voice—and later, the unique opportunity to have a
platform to speak on behalf of the people who have been
excluded from having a voice.
When I got out of graduate school I began working
with Catholic Charities and a program run by the Illinois
MEL LINDSEY Amerigroup Community Care has served
Department on Aging. I concurrently worked in a group
Georgia families since 2006. With enrollment of over
home setting from an organization that received over470,000 members, we help our members get the most
sight by the Illinois Department of Family and Children
from their Georgia Families Medicaid Plan, PeachCare for
Services. I developed a significant amount of knowledge
Kids, Planning for Healthy Babies and Georgia Families
regarding Medicare and how the program benefited
360, the state’s program for individuals in Foster Care,
Adoptive Assistance and Juvenile Justice.
In 1990, I started my career in managed care working
At Amerigroup, we understand that a person’s
for Humana, under the Michael Reese Health Plan
overall health is impacted by a wide variety
and a gentleman named Barry Averil. Folof physical, mental and emotional comlowing the Start of Humana’s Medicare
ponents, and it is imperative that all of
Program, I successfully launched Medithese aspects be addressed in order to
care programs for United Health Care
enhance the health of our members.
(Chicago HMO) and Coventry in
To focus on improving wholeChicago. Then I was later recruited
body care for our customers,
to a company called HealthSource
Amerigroup offers value-added
Georgia to develop and run
benefits designed to support
Medicare programs in Georgia,
families and children by adTennessee and Arkansas. And in
dressing social determinants of
1996, Georgia became my home.
health, such as access to quality
In 2000, I met Amerigroup
education, healthy food and water,
CEO, Jeff McWaters, who shared
Community Impact Award: Amerigroup receives
affordable housing and other generhis vision of operating a publicly
Community Impact Award from Action
Ministries for its work around food
al living conditions.
traded Medicaid managed care cominsecurity in Georgia.
These value-added benefits propany to serve underserved and vulnervide our members and the communities
able populations through the provision of
we support with access to services that go
high-quality compassionate care. I began workbeyond traditional medical benefits such as doctor’s
ing for Amerigroup and have been a proud associate
appointments and medications.
ever since. Amerigroup was acquired by Anthem in 2012.
In the past year alone, we have offered Sam’s Club
At Anthem, I worked in government relations as Rememberships at no cost for eligible moms over the age of
gional Vice President of State Affairs over the east region
21, handed out more than 320 laptops to local students,
until 2017, when a window opened and the company’s
paid for college application fees, provided work wardrobe
regional president, Brian Shipp, appointed me as head of
kits for people looking to get a job and handed out Lyft gift
Amerigroup Georgia— the role I hold today.
cards for eligible members.
We also have a long-standing portfolio of value-added
KENT What is Amerigroup doing to monitor COVID-19 debenefits that includes free baby food, tutoring and SAT
velopments, and how is the virus impacting your custompreparation assistance, dental cleanings, eye exams,
ers and provider partners?
weight management and pest control.
LINDSEY We know our members are concerned about
KENT How did you get started in your career, and when
coronavirus, and we are providing information and upand how did you assume the CEO position in Georgia?
dates on amerigroup.com/amerigroup/coronavirus.html.
If you have a Medicaid plan with us, you do not have
LINDSEY I grew up near Chicago in a family with nine
to pay anything for the COVID-19 test or the doctor visit
brothers and sisters and was raised by an incredible
to get the test. The visit and test are covered if you get
mom. My dad left when I was 14 years old. We were on
care in a doctor’s office, urgent care center or emergency
Medicaid a lot because of our large family, so I underdepartment.
continued on page 32
stood the value of having health insurance and being
healthy. It allowed me to focus on being in school without worrying about being able to see a doctor or dentist.
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