What They’re Watching: Charissa Fotinos, MD, Washington State Health Care Authority


Shane Ersland


Charissa Fotinos, MD, Medicaid director for the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA), said preparing for the approaching unwind of the public health emergency is a primary focus of the HCA. 


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“The public health emergency is not ending, but we received information from the federal government that we need to start thinking about redetermining people’s ability to stay on Medicaid. We want to make sure no one loses coverage.”

Fotinos also discussed the importance of Washingtonians’ behavioral health needs and priorities.

“There is a lot of work on the 988 crisis system build-up and response. I think there is a lot of discussion on the need to focus on overdose deaths, particularly related to fentanyl. A huge issue is focusing on children’s mental health, and how to support them. Behavioral health impacts all of us.”