DECEMBER 2018 • LONGISLANDPRESS.COM 23
AgeWell New York was
developed to bring an
care management approach to health
care coverage for the senior and
disabled populations, according to
The managed care organization
(MCO) was started in 2012 as a
Medicaid Managed Long Term Care (MLTC)
plan and, in 2015, expanded its health care
plan offerings to include Medicare Advantage
Prescription Drug Plans serving
the New York metropolitan area.
We recently interviewed Dana
E. Sherwin, AgeWell New
York executive director, about
her organization’s mission and
challenges, among other topics.
Q: What is the mission of your
Dana E. Sherwin: Our mission
is to bring significant value to
the Medicaid and Medicare
plans we offer to the New York
metropolitan community. These
are public health insurance
programs, offered by AgeWell
New York as well as by other
private sector health plans.
Those who are eligible for these
insurance programs look to us not only to fulfill
the coverage and benefits promised by Medicaid
and Medicare, but also to extend our expertise
and resources to improve access to care, promote
health and wellness, and address complex health
and sociodemographic issues particular to seniors
and/or disabled individuals.
Q: What makes AgeWell New York unique
compared to other similar organizations?
DS: We started AgeWell New York with a laser
focus on the people, processes, and technology
that would best create a health plan serving the
needs of the senior and disabled populations.
The people that we hired and the work processes
we put in place needed to be tightly connected
and committed to the health care needs of the
aging population in our New York metropolitan
communities. We built our health plan and our
care management structures with this singular
AgeWell: Laser focused on health care needs
focus. Additionally, our slogan, “We’re
here for your call,” and our related
practices, have transformed into
positive customer experiences that
make us stand out to members and
providers in our network.
Q: Tell me a bit about your job,
including your favorite part of what
DS: As executive director, I am responsible for
achieving strategic and operational objectives
for the plan, ensuring financial sustainability
and advancing business
growth on a continual basis.
I have many favorite parts of
this job. One is to foster the
professional development of
our management team and
create a learning environment
for all employees. Being part of
a fast-growing company with a
service mission, it is awesome and inspiring to
lead and learn from such smart and dedicated
staff throughout the plan.
Q: What is the biggest challenge of your job?
DS: The biggest challenge of my job is to
continually be attuned to the complexities of
the health care delivery system and the needs of
our enrollees, and respond with resources and
expertise in a way that is effective and produces
long-lasting results. We respond to these challenges
via thoughtful examination of issues and finding
solutions through collaborations and innovations.
Q: What would you say are the biggest
challenges facing your organization and the
DS: One of the biggest challenges facing our plan
and the health sector now is addressing the needs
of an aging population that wants to continue to
live in their homes but needs an expanding set
of health services and other resource support.
Keeping individuals at home with multiple chronic
conditions and needs for assistance with activities
of daily living requires significant
intervention at multiple levels.
Q: What role does technology
play in your organization?
DS: Technology plays a big role
in our operations and decision
analytics capabilities. We seek
to use technology to improve
our ability to understand the
health care needs of our enrollees
and enhance our ability to find
ways to support members with
quality care, access to services
and wellness programs. We are
also conducting various pilot
programs that bring telehealth
services to those members with
chronic health conditions, in
partnership with our network
Q: Are there new initiatives or
programs in your organization?
DS: The centerpiece of our
care management services is
an integrated model of care to
promote and improve health
outcomes and quality of life.
Our new initiatives connect to this model
and include expanding partnerships with our
providers, to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations
and close gaps in care; bringing additional
behavioral health services to those members
with existing or newly diagnosed conditions;
disseminating health education resources; and
making available guidance to members who
may need access to additional federal and state
financial assistance programs.
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Dana E. Sherwin