New Health Policy Firm Breakaway Policy Strategies Diverges From Traditional Consulting With New Ways to Reach Goals
Leading Health Policy Experts Say Winning in Today's Health Care Landscape Demands Game Plans Linking Nonpartisan Research Analysis with Political Insights
Washington, D.C. – With President Obama determined to implement his health reform law by its January 2014 start date and the new Congress poised to enact significant changes to Medicare and Medicaid, health expert Dean Rosen announced the launch of Breakaway Policy Strategies, LLC. The firm will provide nonpartisan policy research and bipartisan policy guidance to a wide range of health care stakeholders.
The firm, formed by the partners at top lobby shop Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, Inc. (MVC), will be under the day-to-day direction of executive director Julie Barnes. Barnes comes to Breakaway from the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), where she served as director of health policy. Working together with former U.S. Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, Barnes oversaw several public-private initiatives designed to create bipartisan solutions to health system challenges.
"With so many urgent and competing demands confronting health care organizations at the same time, the same old game plans just won't work anymore," Rosen said. "Breakaway is all about finding new ways to help a cross-section of leading organizations achieve success in today's complex health care environment. Our research will be sound, our analysis nonpartisan, and our advice rooted in business and political realities."
Rosen, who maintains his role as partner at MVC, will serve as president and CEO of Breakaway. He is one of the nation's top health care experts, having played a leading role in developing and advancing health policy in the nation's capital for nearly two decades.
"Now more than ever, the health care sector needs a senior advisory team that knows the policy details, understands the political dynamics and grasps the business realities," Barnes said. "Traditional guidance that offers advice within narrow health care silos is no longer enough. Breakaway will help health industry players understand how they fit into the big picture.
"The private sector needs to understand how policymakers think and public policymakers need to better understand how the private sector works," she added. "Breakaway will aim to bridge those divides."
Breakaway will publish a regular stream of policy updates and legislative insights, both private client-only materials and others publicly available on its website at www.BreakawayPolicy.com.
The initial suite of services offered by Breakaway includes:
- Strategic policy guidance
- Policy research and reports
- Legislative and regulatory analysis
- Policy marketing and message development
- Budget impact and health care trend analysis
- Multi-stakeholder policy development and coalition management
- Board-level briefings and speaking presentations
Breakaway's core services and core team will expand over the next few months and years, as clients' needs change and demands on health care stakeholders grow.
Rosen, who spent his formative years on the frozen ponds of Minnesota, noted that Breakaway's reference to the game-changing moment in hockey is no coincidence. "The health sector has more in common with ice hockey than we may think," he said. "It takes preparation, agility and teamwork to reach our goals."
About Breakaway Policy Strategies.
Breakaway is a health policy firm that provides research, analysis, practical advice, and strategic solutions to help a wide range of health care stakeholders navigate the transformative changes taking place in today's health care market. Our team not only understands the component parts of our complex health care system, but also how they fit together. We grasp the policy details, but also understand the political system in which policy decisions are made.
The Breakaway Team.
Dean Rosen is President and CEO of Breakaway Policy. He also continues as a partner at Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, Inc. (MVC) where he has represented major health systems, physician specialty organizations, private health plans, clinical laboratories, biotechnology companies, pharmaceutical companies and national employers seeking to impact national health policy. Dean has held several senior posts in government and in the private sector. Before joining MVC, he served as chief health care advisor to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D. (R-TN) and also majority counsel to the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health. He is also former General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Policy at the Health Insurance Association of America. He earned both a M.S. and a J.D. from Syracuse University and a B.S. degree from Boston University.
Julie Barnes is Executive Director of Breakaway Policy. With years of experience as a health care attorney, policy analyst and Capitol Hill staffer, Julie is a frequent writer and speaker on the American health care system. Most recently, Julie was the Director of Health Policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), overseeing the Health Project initiatives on health insurance exchanges, health professional workforce issues and health information technology. Julie also managed a joint project with the BPC Economic Policy team on health care cost containment, working with former U.S. Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici and Dr. Alice Rivlin. Previously, Julie directed the New America Foundation Health Policy Program. She also was a litigator and regulatory counsel in the Health Care Practice Group of Crowell & Moring. She received her law degree from American University's Washington College of Law and is a graduate of the University of Iowa.
Margaret Nowak is Director of Research at Breakaway Policy. Margaret joins Breakaway from Walgreens, where she served as Senior Director for Public Policy. Earlier in her career, Margaret spent over seven years at Avalere Health where she was a leading expert on Medicare policy, product reimbursement services and analytic research. Before joining Avalere, Margaret was an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), estimating the budgetary impact of legislation on the Medicare and Medicaid programs. She was extensively involved in analyzing the budgetary impacts of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, as well as changes to Hatch-Waxman, prescription drug importation and Medicaid reimbursement. Prior to her tenure at the CBO, Margaret was a consultant in the information technology sector of PricewaterhouseCoopers. She holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of Arizona and an M.P.P. from the University of Chicago.
Colette Desmarais is a Senior Policy Advisor at Breakaway Policy. Since 2003, Colette has served as a principal at MVC. She previously served as a top health policy aide to Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, where she focused on Medicare, prescription drugs and private health insurance issues. Colette also served in a variety of positions with the American Association of Health Plans (currently AHIP) including as deputy director of the association's public programs policy unit. Earlier in her career, she worked as an associate with the Lewin Group and in the government affairs department of Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound. Colette earned her bachelor's degree from Smith College and her Masters of Public Health from Yale University.
Erica Pereira is a Policy Advisor at Breakaway Policy. Erica brings years of health policy experience to Breakaway. For the past year, she has worked as a policy counsel with MVC, preparing detailed analyses of state and federal regulations and legislation and legal opinions impacting the health system. She will continue these duties at Breakaway, and also work with clients to draft legislative proposals and regulatory comments. Erica honed her research skills as a Health Care Analyst at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) where she worked on projects including a comprehensive assessment of legal barriers to integrated care. Erica also has served as a Senior Research Assistant at the George Washington University. There, she worked on the National Health Reform Law and Policy Project studying the legal and policy implications of health reform proposals. Erica received her B.S. in Biology from Bates College, before going on to earn her law degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law with an honors concentration in health law, and her M.P.H. from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.