Mostly Medicaid Interviews Care Bridge Founder & CEO, Deborah Watkins

Which segment of the industry are you currently involved?

Health Data Analytics, specifically involving bodily injury claims. About 20% of workers comp and auto injury claimants have serious enough injuries to qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits, followed by Medicare benefits. A percentage of those individuals eventually receive Medicaid benefits due to the severity of their injuries and income constraints. There is a real opportunity to ensure these individuals receive quality care to promote their independence, while preserving and maximizing these State & Federal funding resources to improve outcomes, but also to ensure the fiscally responsible use of these funds.

How many years have you been in the Medicaid industry?

On the insurance side, over 18 years, but have been in the healthcare space my entire career.

What is your focus/passion? (Industry related or not)

Dual Eligibles, individuals who receive both Medicare and Medicaid benefits, as these individuals are the most compromised and most vulnerable in our healthcare system. This small subgroup consumes the largest portion of our healthcare dollars having a big impact on our healthcare GDP. Being a small part of the solution in the healthcare delivery and payer systems, is my passion.

What is the top item on your “bucket list?”

To snorkel or scuba dive with humpback whales. I have had an interest in whales since childhood and want to get as close as safely possible.

What do you enjoy doing most with your personal time?

I’m an outdoor girl and enjoy out-of-door activities, particularly trekking in scenic places around the world and downhill skiing.

Who is your favorite historical figure and why?

Abraham Lincoln. He was our President during a very polarizing time in our country’s history during the Civil War and is one of our most respected Presidents. In addition, he experienced tragedy in his own personal life including the loss of his mother at age 9 and the death of a son that led to his wife’s mental health issues, so he was a man familiar with tragedy, yet very resilient. I admire that, because I have a daughter who had an acute head injury at age 9 and suffers with chronic, intractable epilepsy. I understand at a personal level the pain of loss and the challenges caregivers face in navigating a fragmented delivery system and the need for a Medicaid safety net. The story of Honest Abe gives me hope that we can successfully solve our healthcare crisis and reunite.