(Salt Lake City, UT) - The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) has announced the appointment of Michael Hales as the new director of the Division of Health Care Financing (DHCF).
"I have great confidence in Mr. Hales'
ability to manage and provide leadership for this important division."As the new Director, Hales will oversee the administration of the Medicaid and CHIP programs in compliance with federal laws and regulations.
This includes managing the $1.6 billion annual budget for Medicaid services and supervising the development and implementation of policy."Medicaid is facing many challenges," Hales
said."We have our work cut out for us."
Some of the new responsibilities on Hales' plate include addressing the challenge of federal budget cuts and the elimination of dental and vision services for Medicaid recipients.Hales
will continue coordinating rate setting with health care providers, securing access to care for Medicaid clients, and writing waivers to modify the Medicaid program to best meet the needs of Utah citizens.
Hales' expertise, in-depth knowledge of the Medicaid program, and demonstration of leadership has prepared him well for this position.He
served as acting director of the Division of Health Care Financing following Michael Deily's retirement in December 2005, as well as assistant director of the division since 2003.Among Hales' eight years at the UDOH, he also served as financial analyst and auditor, actuarial specialist and Director of Utah's CHIP program.Michael Hales holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, with a focus in health care policy.He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Brigham Young University.