Another top administrator exit state’s largest health care agency
St. Vincent’s Medical Center requested arbitration.

The price of good healthcare service
Julie Madden is one of three deputy secretaries at the Agency for Health Care Administration.

Another high-ranking official at the state’s largest health care agency is leaving her post. Julie Madden, Agency for Health Care Administration Deputy Secretary of Operations, is retiring.

Madden is one of three Deputy Secretaries at the health care agency. She has oversight of several large program areas including financial services, human resources, general services, purchasing and contract administration, information technology (IT) and administration of the Florida Health Care Connections (FX) Program.

Mike Magnuson, Director of the FX Program, announced Madden’s departure — as well as AHCA Secretary Simone Marstiller’s exit — from the agency at an FX Executive Steering Committee meeting Wednesday morning. Both Madden and Marstiller serve on the 15-member executive steering committee.

“We are losing a couple of key figures to our FX team. I am not exactly sure how that’s going to work out,”  Magnuson said. He noted that Marstiller and Madden had worked together in the early 2000s on the consolidation of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s computer and phone systems as well as its business operations.

That gave the tandem “an understanding of what we are trying to accomplish,” Magnuson said of the efforts underway to scrap the state’s current Medicaid IT architecture, known as the Florida Medicaid Management Information System, or FMMIS, and convert it to the FX system.

Marstiller joked that she and Madden are “almost like a package deal.”

Marstiller submitted her resignation letter Nov. 9, the day following DeSantis’s re-election. Marstiller has been a longtime state employee and even had a stint as an appellate court judge, but she also has worked as a lobbyist for Gunster.

Turnover following General Elections is not unusual. But a new six-year lobbying ban, slated to go into effect Jan. 1, 2023, appears to be expediting some resignations.

The ban was first approved by voters in 2018. During the 2022 Legislative Session, legislators passed a law that made it clear what executive branch officials were covered by the ban and created penalties for someone found violating the new ban.

Current law only requires top state officials to wait two years before they can lobby their former employer. The new ban also contains a much wider prohibition on lobbying, so former agency heads are not only blocked from lobbying their former employer, but also banned from lobbying the Legislature.

Most of the departures that have been announced to date are at the Secretary level, such as Marstiller and Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle

But senior-level administrators also impacted by the lobbying ban are beginning to resign.

After a lengthy regulatory career, and a stint in Citizens Property Insurance Corp., Susanne Murphy announced last week she was stepping down from OIR. Murphy joined the Tallahassee-based insurance regulatory law firm, Meenan P.A.

Florida Politics reported Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier also may be leaving his position before the lobbying ban takes effect in the next several weeks.

During discussion on SB 2A this week, Sen. Lori Berman said it had come to her attention that Altmaier was “leaving the office very shortly” and asked him about his departure date. 

However, before a definitive answer was provided, committee Chairman Travis Hutson told Berman to stick to questions about SB 2A.

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.

One comment

  • It's Complicated

    December 15, 2022 at 10:05 am

    Working for state government is already a largely thankless job, and passing bills that create a disincentive for bright people to work in or remain in these critical roles was a very short-sighted move by the Florida Legislature. The private sector pays FAR better than state government, and the effect of this law coupled with the power of personal economics has led to a brain drain in many state agencies.

Comments are closed.


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