Anya Rader Wallack. VTD/Josh Larkin
Anya Rader Wallack pictured in 2011. Filed photo by Josh Larkin/VTDigger

A former Vermont health care regulator is slated to lead a regulated entity that got its start under her watch. 

Anya Rader Wallack was the first chair of the Green Mountain Care Board, an independent government body that regulates health care in Vermont. By the time she stepped down from that role in 2013, the state was taking its first steps toward what would later give rise to OneCare Vermont, the only accountable care organization in Vermont. 

Now, she’s been tapped to chair the OneCare board.

“I am honored and excited to be part of the next phase of the organization’s development, as we continue to support health care providers in improving performance and strengthening value-based payment models,” said Rader Wallack, the senior vice president for strategic communications for the University of Vermont Health Network. 

OneCare announced the change in leadership in a press release Wednesday. Former Rutland Regional Medical Center chief executive officer Tom Huebner will serve as vice chair, a new position, according to the release. Rader Wallack will replace outgoing board chair and UVM Health Network president and CEO John Brumsted, who is retiring. She is scheduled to begin her tenure at OneCare in May. Huebner will take on the vice chair position in April, the press release said. 

The appointments of Radar Wallack and Huebner signal, perhaps, a new direction for the much-criticized accountable care organization. 

Rader Wallack, who served as a key health policy advisor to former governors Peter Shumlin and Howard Dean — and who ran Rhode Island’s health insurance exchange and Medicaid office — brings to the role strong ties to state government. During her time in the Shumlin administration, she was an architect of the Green Mountain Care Board and led the governor’s early, but ultimately doomed, efforts to enact a single-payer system in the state.

Huebner is not a UVM Health Network employee, and he previously served as a representative of community hospitals to the OneCare board. His ties to other health care organizations could foster good will among smaller OneCare members, such as community hospitals. Hubener already serves on several boards, including the Brattleboro Retreat and the Vermont Nurses Association in Rutland. 

“We have made good strides in provider-led reform efforts on a statewide level and I am excited to be part of the continued evolution in care and payment reform efforts,” Huebner said in the press release.

OneCare, originally a joint venture of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and University of Vermont Medical Center, came under the UVM Health Network umbrella last year. In the process, Dartmouth-Hitchcock dropped two of its three board seats. Steve LeBlanc, chief strategy officer at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health, is now the sole representative of the Lebanon-based hospital chain on OneCare’s board.

UVM Health Network picked up an additional seat, bringing its representation to four. Providers from other parts of the health care system, including community hospitals, mental health organizations and independent practices, fill the remaining 15 seats.

Wikipedia: Liora Engel-Smith covers health care for VTDigger. She previously covered rural health at NC Health News in North Carolina and the Keene Sentinel in New Hampshire. She...