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GAO Makes MACPAC Appointments, Designates Chair and Vice Chair

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 20, 2019) — Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), today announced the appointment of two new members to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC).  He also named the Commission’s Chair and Vice Chair.

 “Congress turns to MACPAC for key insights and recommendations on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP),” Dodaro said.  ”Many outstanding candidates expressed an interest in serving on the Commission this year. I am very pleased to announce today the appointments of two highly qualified individuals as new members, and two more as Chair and Vice-Chair.”

The newly appointed members are Thomas Barker and Tricia Brooks.  Current member Melanie Bella has been named the Commission’s Chair, and current member Charles Milligan has been named the Commission’s Vice Chair.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 established MACPAC to review Medicaid and CHIP access and payment policies and to advise Congress on issues affecting Medicaid and CHIP. The Act directs the Comptroller General to appoint MACPAC’s members. Brief biographies of the new commission members and the Commission Chair and Vice Chair follow:

New Commission Members:

Thomas Barker, Esq., is a Partner at Foley Hoag, LLP, where he specializes in Medicaid and Medicare regulatory, coverage, and reimbursement issues and is a member of the Executive Committee. He also has a pro bono practice focusing on health care issues facing immigrants. Previously, he held numerous positions within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including Acting General Counsel, Counselor to the Secretary, Chief Legal Officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and Senior Health Policy Counselor to the Administrator of CMS.  Mr. Barker received his law degree from Suffolk University School of Law.

Tricia Brooks, MBA, is an Associate Research Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and a Senior Fellow at the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families (CCF), an independent, nonpartisan policy and research center whose mission is to expand and improve health coverage for children and families. At CCF, Ms. Brooks focuses on policy, program administration, and quality relating to Medicaid and CHIP coverage for children and families. Prior to joining CCF, she served as the founding Chief Executive Officer of New Hampshire Healthy Kids, a legislatively-created, non-profit corporation that administered the state’s CHIP program and served as the Medicaid and CHIP consumer assistance hub. Ms. Brooks holds a Master of Business Administration from Suffolk University.

Commission Chair:

Melanie Bella, MBA, a current MACPAC commissioner, is Head of Partnerships and Policy at Cityblock Health, which facilitates health care delivery for low-income urban populations, particularly Medicaid beneficiaries and those dually-eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. Previously, she served as the founding Director of the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, where she designed and launched payment and delivery system demonstrations to improve quality and reduce costs. Ms. Bella also was the Director of the Indiana Medicaid Program, where she oversaw Medicaid, CHIP, and the state’s long-term care insurance program. Ms. Bella received her Master of Business Administration from Harvard University.

Commission Vice Chair:

Charles Milligan, JD, MPH, a current MACPAC commissioner, is the national Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans Executive Director for UnitedHealthcare Community & State. Previously, he was CEO of UnitedHealthcare’s Community Plan in New Mexico, a Medicaid managed care organization with enrolled members in all Medicaid eligibility categories. Mr. Milligan is a former state Medicaid and CHIP director in New Mexico and Maryland. He also served as executive director of the Hilltop Institute, a health services research center at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, and as vice president at The Lewin Group. Mr. Milligan directed the 2005–2006 Commission on Medicaid and has conducted Medicaid-related research projects in numerous states. He received his Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley, and his law degree from Harvard Law School.

Commissioners whose terms will expire in April 2020 are Martha Carter, DHSc, MBA, APRM, CNM, former CEO of FamilyCare Health Centers; Frederick Cerise, MD, MPH, President and CEO of Parkland Health and Hospital System; Kisha Davis, MD, MPH, a family physician at CHI Health Care; Darin Gordon, President and CEO of Gordon & Associates; and William Scanlon, PhD, a consultant for the West Health Institute.

Commissioners whose terms will expire in April 2021 are Melanie Bella, MBA, Head of Partnerships and Policy at Cityblock Health; Leanna George, beneficiary representative who is the parent of two children covered under Medicaid and CHIP; Charles Milligan, JD, MPH, the national Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans Executive Director for UnitedHealthcare Community & State; Sheldon Retchin, MD, MSPH, Professor of Health Services Management and Policy at The Ohio State University; Peter Szilagyi, MD, MPH, Executive Vice Chair and Vice Chair for Research of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California at Los Angeles; and Katherine Weno, independent public health consultant.

Commissioners who have been reappointed for second terms that will expire in April 2022 are Brian Burwell, Vice President, Healthcare Research and Policy at Ventech Solutions; Toby Douglas, MPP, MPH, Senior Vice President for National Medicaid at Kaiser Permanente; Christopher Gorton, MD, MHSA, Director and Investor at MedSolis, a health technology company; and Stacey Lampkin, FSA, MAAA, MPA, Actuary and Principal with Mercer Government Human Services Consulting.

For more information about MACPAC, contact Anne Schwartz, MACPAC’s executive director, at (202) 350-2000. Other questions should be directed to Chuck Young in GAO’s Office of Public Affairs at (202) 512-4800. The official announcement will be published in the Federal Register.


The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, is an independent, nonpartisan agency that exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities. GAO also works to improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the American people. The agency examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO provides Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonideological, fair, and balanced. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.

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