Medicaid Policy and Business Team

About this Project

The Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) supports the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) in conducting policy analyses and evaluations of its Medicaid programs. GHPC’s Medicaid Policy and Business team provides research and evaluation, policy and economic analysis, and development of business solutions related to Georgia Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

GHPC is a trusted third party in identifying and providing evidence-based information. The center’s qualitative and quantitative data compilation and analysis helps to inform DCH’s planning processes and decision-making on coverage decisions, payment models, prior authorization criteria, and coordination of care initiatives.

GHPC work on behalf of DCH includes:

  • Cost-benefit analysis of payment reform proposals, including assessments of global payments for obstetricians and Medicaid claims analysis to evaluate the impact of transitioning foster care and justice involved youth into managed care.
  • Health services research assessing the impact of Affordable Care Act regulations on access to care, workforce supply, provider response to enhanced payments for primary care services, and enrollment in the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program.
  • Descriptive analysis of Medicaid populations and services, including access to contraception among women served by Georgia Medicaid and a deep dive into the providers rendering these services.
  • Environmental scans of state health policy across the nation on topics such as cross-sector collaborations in hospital reimbursements and increased federal funding for preventive services.
  • Legal analysis and compliance reviews of state and federal health care laws, regulations, and policies.
  • Curriculum development for an education series for DCH staff.

Related Information

Meet the Researchers

Carla Willis

Associate Project Director

Ph.D., Ohio State University
M.A., Ohio State University
B.A., Washington University in St. Louis


Carla Willis is the associate project director at the Georgia Health Policy Center. She currently leads the Medicaid policy and business team. In this position she brings expertise in quantitative and qualitative analysis, health policy development, and evaluating business solutions for the Georgia Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids programs.

Willis’s current projects include evaluating the impact… more »

Jessica Smith

Senior Research Associate

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
M.S., University of Wisconsin
B.A., University of Tennessee


Jessica Smith is a senior research associate at the Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC). Her areas of expertise include behavioral health policy, comparative effectiveness research, and cost effectiveness analysis. She focuses on health care delivery and health outcomes for publicly insured populations

Smith is a member of the Medicaid Policy and Business team at… more »

Bill Rencher

Senior Research Associate

M.P.H., Georgia State University
J.D., University of Florida
B.A., Furman University.


Bill Rencher is a senior research associate at the Georgia Health Policy Center. His expertise includes federal and state Medicaid regulations, compliance reviews, data analysis, and report writing. Rencher also has experience with hospital financial assistance programs, federal and state health care laws and regulations, the Affordable Care Act, and research ethics.

Rencher serves on the… more »

Patricia Ketsche

Affiliated Faculty

Ph.D., Georgia State University
M.B.A./M.H.A., Georgia State University
B.S., University of Pennsylvania


Patricia Ketsche is an associate professor in the Institute of Health Administration at the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University. She is a core faculty member at the Georgia Health Policy Center.

Ketsche specializes in health care financing and delivery, managed care, the effect of coverage on access to care and… more »