The National Voice for Special Needs and Medicare-Medicaid Plans


Cheryl Phillips


President and CEO, SNP Alliance


Dr. Cheryl Phillips is the President and CEO of the Special Needs Plan Alliance, a national leadership association for special needs and Medicare-Medicaid plans serving vulnerable adults. Prior to this she was the Senior VP for Public Policy and Health Services at LeadingAge. She has also served as the Chief Medical Officer of On Lok Lifeways, the originator of the PACE (Program of All-Inclusive care for the Elderly) model based in San Francisco, and the Medical Director for Senior Services and Chronic Disease Management, for the Sutter Health System, a network of doctors, hospitals and other health providers in Northern California. As a fellowship-trained geriatrician, her clinical practice focused on nursing homes and the long-term care continuum. While at Sutter Health, she developed and led a care coordination program for high-risk seniors enrolled in the Medicare Advantage plan. Dr. Phillips is a past president of the American Geriatrics Society, the organization representing health care professionals committed to improving the health of America's seniors; and is also a past president of the American Medical Directors Association, the physician organization for long-term care. She continues to serve on multiple technical advisory groups for chronic care, nursing home quality and home and community-based services and has provided multiple testimonies to the U.S. Congress. She is a frequent speaker to boards of directors for aging service providers, state and national meetings. She served as a primary care health policy fellow under Secretary Tommy Thompson, and was appointed by the Governor as a California Commissioner on Aging and appointed to the Olmstead Advisory Committee for California. Dr. Phillips is on the Board of Directors of the SCAN Foundation.

Rich Bringewatt


President and CEO, National Health Policy Group (NHPG)

Richard J. Bringewatt is Co-founder and President of the National Health Policy Group (NHPG) and Co-founder of the SNP Alliance, where he formerly served as President and CEO.  NHPG is a national health policy and consulting group established to help improve policy and practice in care of high-risk beneficiaries including the dually eligible, frail elders, adults with disabilities and others with serious chronic conditions. Clients include Medicare and Medicaid plans, providers, health systems, the public sector and national associations.  Prior to his current leadership positions, Mr. Bringewatt co-founded and served as President and CEO of the National Chronic Care Consortium (NCCC), a strategic alliance of leading acute and long-term care systems seeking to advance improvements in care for persons with severe or disabling chronic conditions as their conditions evolve over time and across care settings. Functioning as a policy entrepreneur and catalyst for change, Mr. Bringewatt works with other national health leaders and groups to improve health policy and practice for poor, frail, disabled and chronically ill persons. He has a long history of success in advancing program innovation for persons with complex care needs and related specialized managed care policy.

SNP Alliance Legal and Regulatory Council

Legal and Regulatory Counsel, SNP Alliance

Mark S. Joffe is the principal in the Firm of Law Offices of Mark S. Joffe in Washington, DC. Mr. Joffe specializes in legal and business issues affecting managed care organizations with a particular focus on Medicare and Medicaid managed care, including Medicare Advantage special needs plans and Medicare-Medicaid plans. Mr. Joffe was previously the Associate Counsel, Group Health Association of America (currently AHIP), the managed care and health insurance trade association. Prior to that position, Mr. Joffe was a Senior Attorney with the Office of the General Counsel, Department of Health and Human Services. Mr. Joffe has a Masters of Arts degree in Health Services Administration from George Washington University.


SNP Alliance Team and Consultants

Pamela Parker

Medicare-Medicaid Integration Consultant, SNP Alliance

Pamela has over 34 years of experience in state government in Minnesota, with specialized expertise in management of integrated Medicare and Medicaid health care policy, operations and financing for people with dual eligibility, managed long term services and supports, rate setting and MA D-SNP policy and contracting. She was responsible for creation of the first CMS approved state Medicare-Medicaid integration demonstration for people with dual eligibility in 1995. She developed and managed several specialized managed care programs for seniors and people with disabilities as well as the first Medicare Medicaid D-SNP demonstration approved by CMS in 2013. Pam also served as Director of Long Term Care and has a long history of consumer advocacy serving as the states first long term care ombudsman. Pam has been an advisor to CHCS, MedPAC, MACPAC, AARP, NCQA, NASHP, and the Alliance for Health Reform and has been a frequent speaker at national conferences on topics related to MLTSS and dual eligibility. After retiring from her state management position, Pam continues to serve as part time consultant to the state, and joined the SNP Alliance team as Medicare-Medicaid Integration Consultant. Pam has a Masters of Public Administration degree from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government where she was a Bush Leadership Fellowship Recipient.

Policy Consultant and Performance Evaluation Lead, SNP Alliance

Dr. Deborah Paone serves as Performance Evaluation Lead and Policy Consultant to the Special Needs Plan Alliance. In this capacity she analyzes legislation and regulation around quality measurement under the Medicare program as well as pertaining to Medicaid Managed Long-Term Services and Supports. She works collaboratively with organizations such as the National Quality Forum, NCQA, and with government agencies such as CMS. She also leads work on the SNP Alliance Annual Member Survey, social determinants of health, and innovation grant projects funded through private foundations.

Dr. Paone continues to maintain her practice as independent evaluator through Paone & Associates, LLC (Minneapolis, MN). Previously, she served as Vice President and Senior Research Associate of the National Chronic Care Consortium, as Executive Director of a community-based nonprofit serving older adults and family caregivers, and as Director of the Section for Aging and Long-term Care Services of the American Hospital Association. Deborah has experience in provider, health plan, association, and research settings and at the national, state, and local levels. Through her 25+ year career she has worked across disciplines and settings—bridging policy, practice, and research silos—toward a more integrated and connected system of health care and social supports for older adults, people with disabilities, and family caregivers.

Deborah presents her work nationally. Her research on implementation of evidence-based programs appears in the peer-review literature. She serves as a peer-reviewer for Frontiers in Public Health, and as a technical expert for national organizations and committees. Currently Dr. Paone serves on the CMS/RAND Technical Expert Panel on Medicare Stars (2018-2019), the National Quality Forum Social Determinants of Health Data Integration Action Team (2018-2019), and the U.S. Administration on Aging/National Council on Aging Independent Expert Review Panel examining criteria for evidence-based programs (2018-2019).

Dr. Paone holds a Doctor of Public Health from the Gillings School of Global Public Health of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (NC), a Master of Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan (MI), and a Bachelor in Gerontological Issues in Community Health from the University of Rochester (NY). She can be reached at

Health Policy and Communications Analyst, SNP Alliance

Joe Perretta recently joins the SNP Alliance after 15 months on the road, educating specialists in rural care settings on the benefits of coordinated care in the era of MIPS and MIPS ACOs. Prior to his work in the field, Joe worked as a technical writer for the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Chemotherapy Safety and Certification Program, proudly overseeing the editorial process for the ASCO-ONS 2016 Chemotherapy Standards update. An academically-trained rhetorician, Joe’s passion for healthcare developed alongside his experience as a patient navigator and clinical research coordinator at a small orthopedic practice in Miami, Florida. While medical governance and health policy have become his career, he maintains strong ties to the world of competitive academic debate, coaching weekend and summer programs for the DC Urban Debate League and speaking regularly at workshops for debate educators.

SNP Alliance Legislative Consultants

Tracy Spicer

Principal, Avenue Solutions

Avenue Solutions' founding partner Tracy Spicer is a 20-year veteran of political campaigns at every level. Ms. Spicer began her involvement in politics in 1992 in former US Senator Edward M. Kennedy's Senate office before transitioning to his campaign staff in 1994 to assist in his successful re-election campaign and quickly rose to Political Director and Deputy Chief of Staff. Since that time, she has worked with and coordinated numerous campaigns, ranging from municipal and state candidates to the US Congress as well as the White House. During her decade of experience on Capitol Hill, she coordinated successful political and legislative strategies for Senator Kennedy and managed his legislative priorities in the areas of healthcare, education, labor and economic development. Ms. Spicer is widely recognized for her political acumen and expertise in designing legislative and regulatory strategies and her established network of long-standing professional contacts among elected officials, appointed policymakers, and their staffs. She draws on her vast political and legislative experience to help clients navigate the labyrinth of Capitol Hill and government bureaucracy and to position them strategically to head off obstacles, find common ground and achieve success. Ms. Spicer has played a leading role in the consideration, negotiation, and implementation of the Affordable Care Act; Medicare and Medicaid legislation; healthcare information technology initiatives; mental health parity legislation; genetic non-discrimination legislation; small business incentive proposals; and prescription drug coverage legislation.

Elizabeth Barnett

Partner, Avenue Solutions

Elizabeth Barnett is a Partner at Avenue Solutions, a government relations firm which provides strategic legislative, policy, and political expertise based in Washington, DC. Elizabeth advises numerous clients across the spectrum of the health care industry on a range of federal legislative and regulatory issues related to Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act. Ms. Barnett brings a wealth of political and legislative experience to this all-female, all-Democratic firm. Elizabeth has 15 years of experience in health care policy both in the private sector and on Capitol Hill. Before joining Avenue Solutions, she was a lead Democratic lobbyist for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Elizabeth has a deep understanding of Capitol Hill, where she spent eight years working for U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR). As the Senators principal health policy advisor, Ms. Barnett developed and managed her health care and social policy agenda, created and implemented legislative strategies, and served as her chief negotiator on priority legislation, including the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families reauthorization. Elizabeth also spent time serving as the Senators speechwriter. A true veteran of the Washington political process, Elizabeth has also served as a researcher at EMILYs List and on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. A native of Southern Maryland, Elizabeth's tenure in DC began with an internship with U.S. Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD). Elizabeth holds a Master of Public Administration from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Washington College.

Principal, Loper Consulting

Ginger Loper founded Loper Consulting in January 2010 after serving as a Vice President at Timmons and Company for four years, where she advised a range of Fortune 500 clients and major trade associations on legislative and regulatory strategy. Prior to her work in the private sector, Ginger served as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs from 2002-2005. As a senior lobbyist for President George W. Bush, Ginger served as the primary point of contact for the President and senior White House staff to the Committees on Agriculture, Finance, and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). She advocated for the Presidents agenda in the areas of health care, Social Security, tax, education and agriculture. Prior to her White House service, Ginger served as a Legislative Assistant to then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott from 1997 to 2001. She assisted with the management of legislation in the areas of health care, tax, education, and the federal budget. In 2011, Ginger was named one of the top lobbyists under 40 by Washingtonian Magazine. Ginger serves on the Board of Directors for the Arlington Free Clinic. She graduated with honors from the University of Alabama in 1995. She received her Masters degree from George Washington University in 1997.


Technical Consultants

Principal and Consulting Actuary, Milliman
CMSHCC Payment Policy Advisor

Eric Goetsch is a Principal and Consulting Actuary with the Milwaukee office of Milliman. He joined the firm in 1994. Mr. Goetsch's area of expertise is health insurance and managed healthcare programs, including being a firm-wide leader in Medicare Advantage and Part D consulting. His client work has been in the areas of feasibility and strategic analyses, premium and capitation rate development, experience and risk score analysis, liability estimation, and other actuarial projections. He has advised managed care organizations, state government agencies, insurance companies, employers, and other organizations. Each year, Mr. Goetsch provides Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D feasibility analysis and bid development/support for over 100 bids across eight states, including feasibility analysis and bid development for numerous SNPs for the dual eligible, chronic disease, and institutionalized populations. He is a frequent industry speaker on Medicare Advantage and Part D topics.