What They’re Watching: Lorry Bottrill, Mercy Care

Lorry Bottrill is the President and CEO of Mercy Care, a not-for-profit health plan serving AHCCCS members. She joins us in this edition of “What They’re Watching” to discuss housing, the social determinants of health, and working with legislators.


Get the latest state-specific policy intelligence for the health care sector delivered to your inbox.


“A huge focus for us, and for I’m sure in many states, is housing. That’s something we really look at across the board, especially with the economy improving we’re seeing even a slight decline in our availability of housing. But, we know that is one of the biggest factors that, you know, [as with] any of the social determinants — if we’re not managing that and really solving for that, we’re not going to solve for the some of the health care items that we really want to focus on as well.

As far as working with our legislators, we’ve been down often meeting with them and trying to understand and give our perspective of what we see from our consumers. And for us as a community member, really trying to understand how do we impact that. And I think we’ve gotten some really great traction on housing and some of the other items that maybe weren’t on the radar a few years ago, but now are really something that has gotten that right attention. For us, there’s a huge focus from the governor’s office on school-based clinics, really understanding how to focus on human trafficking, how to focus on suicide prevention — some of those items that are just really important and really a part of our social contract to really be solving for.

What we’ve seen is through our work on the housing, Assertive Community Treatment, employment, we’ve seen some amazing impacts. A NORC study actually was done and saw a huge decline in overall costs when we really focused on housing and our Assertive Community Treatment plans. Especially on our community treatment teams that focus on those involved in the justice system by engaging them and really wrapping some services around that, that relate to all different kinds — physical and behavioral health — and really focus on the social determinants that are impacting them. Their overall costs and overall success in recovery has been amazing.”