BOSTON — Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders announced that acting Assistant Secretary and MassHealth Director Amanda Cassel Kraft has been appointed to the role permanently.
Cassel Kraft will be responsible for overseeing the state’s $19 billion Medicaid program that provides healthcare coverage to more than 2 million residents. She is charged with implementing the state’s existing innovative 1115 Medicaid waiver and investing more than $500 million in federal ARPA dollars for home and community-based services. She is also responsible for preparing the state’s next 1115 waiver submission, due to be filed in November, which will continue value-based payment for services, address health equity and disparities in health outcomes, and implement major investments in behavioral health services.
“Assistant Secretary Cassel Kraft’s combination of deep knowledge of Medicaid policy and strong management skills will ensure that we maintain our position as an innovative national leader in public healthcare coverage. Her ability to engage and work collaboratively with the broad Medicaid stakeholder community will help navigate our efforts to improve behavioral healthcare for all residents of the state,” Sudders said. “I am deeply grateful for her willingness to serve as assistant secretary and for her commitment to improving healthcare in Massachusetts that is inclusive and accessible.”
Holding a bachelor’s degree with distinction from Stanford University and a master’s degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Cassel Kraft has been a senior member of the MassHealth team since 2011. Prior to taking on the role of acting assistant secretary, she served as deputy Medicaid director, focusing on strategic, policy, operational, and financial decisions. She directly oversaw critical policy and program areas, including pharmacy and provider networks, behavioral health, federal and eligibility policy, member experience and engagement, children, youth and families, and safety-net programs.
“I am thankful to Governor Baker and Secretary Sudders for the opportunity to carry on my work with MassHealth as we continue on a trajectory to deliver more member-focused and outcomes-driven care. It is an honor to serve the over 2 million residents of the Commonwealth that look to MassHealth for healthcare coverage,” Cassel Kraft said. “I look forward to continuing to work with the MassHealth team and with our partners in the healthcare system to uphold the highest level of care and improve health equity for our members.”