Health Care Authority Names Dr. Daniel Lessler New Chief Medical Officer for Medicaid, PEB

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The following news release was sent out today via email from Washington State Health Care Authority

APRIL 2, 2013                                                                                                          NR 013-010


Dorothy F. Teeter, Director, Health Care Authority, 360-725-1040

OLYMPIA – Washington State’s Health Care Authority has selected Dr. Daniel S. Lessler as the new Chief Medical Officer for the state’s Medicaid program and Public Employees Benefits. His appointment is effective May 13.

Dr. Lessler is a longtime medical professor at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine and has served as Senior Associate Medical Director for Harborview Medical Center since January of 2012. He also served earlier as Associate Medical Director of Harborview, beginning in the late 1990s.

“Dr. Lessler is well known and respected in Washington State health care,” said HCA Director Dorothy F. Teeter. “He will be a powerful addition to our team as we clear the way for the largest expansion in Medicaid’s history, boosting our enrollment by 1.2 million up to 1.5 million or more, not counting more than 300,000 current PEB members, retirees and their dependents.

“Implementing national health care reform under the Affordable Care Act will require fundamental changes in how we interface with our provider community as well as clients, and Dr. Lessler will bring both his vision and his practical experience to that job.”

“I look forward to joining the Health Care Authority team and the challenges that face us,” Dr. Lessler said. “We are on the cutting edge of reforms that will bring fundamental change to the way tomorrow’s health care is purchased and delivered.”

Dr. Lessler was appointed to the faculty at the School of Medicine in the early 1990s. Throughout his career as a board-certified general internist, Dr. Lessler has maintained an active primary care practice.

Dr. Lessler has participated in efforts both locally and statewide aimed at improving the quality and cost effectiveness of health care:

Between 2004-2005, Dr. Lessler served as a member of the founding board of the Puget Sound Health Alliance; subsequently he served five years on the Alliance’s Quality Improvement Committee. He was founding Chair of the Washington State Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee between 2003 and 2007, and he served on the Board of the Foundation for Healthcare Quality in Seattle, where he helped support the efforts of the Clinical Outcomes Assessment Program, which is housed within the Foundation. In 2007, Dr. Lessler helped found King County Care partners, a nationally recognized community-based partnership dedicated to the clinical management of medically complex Medicaid clients.

A native of Connecticut, Dr. Lessler holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Stanford University. He also earned his medical degree at the Stanford University School of Medicine and a Master’s in Health Administration from the University of Washington.

EDITORS: An electronic photo of Dr. Lessler is available on request from


The Medicaid Expansion 2014 website:
The Health Benefits Exchange website:

Jim Stevenson, Communications, HCA 360-725-1915
Beth Luce, Communications, HCA 360-725-0867

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