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August 7, 2012 > Alameda Alliance for Health realigns

Alameda Alliance for Health realigns

By Pamela Corante

Alameda Alliance for Health has been selected by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to pilot a new program that will merge Medi-Cal and Medicare benefits and services into a single managed care program for dual eligibles, or individuals who qualify for services under both Medi-Cal and Medicare. Of the multiple counties that submitted proposals, eight including Alameda were chosen to participate in the pilot. The selection criteria reflect DHCS's goal of promoting care in the home and community as opposed to institutional settings.

This is an expansion of a first phase of California's Dual Eligible Demonstration, announced this past April and limited to four California counties. The California legislature has passed, and Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. has signed, the California budget, which allows for this pilot program expansion to include Alameda County. California is seeking federal approval to move forward in all eight pilot counties.

In order to prepare for the expansion of dual eligibles in the Medi-Cal system and to position itself for participation in health care reform, the Alameda Alliance for Health (the Alliance) has announced major organizational changes. Three new executive leadership positions have been created.

The Alliance has hired David C. Buhler as Chief Administrative Officer. Buhler has more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare and finance industries, with proven leadership ability in a wide range of professional environments. Prior to joining the Alliance, Buhler served in various roles including Vice President and Corporate Controller of Arcadian Health Plan in Oakland and executive leadership positions in other managed care companies.

The other two new leadership positions have been filled by current Alameda Alliance employees. Leila Saadat has been promoted to Chief Strategy Officer. Prior to her appointment as CSO, Saadat was senior director of Policy and Planning.

Elia Gallardo, Esq., has accepted the position of Executive Director, Duals Program. Gallardo recently oversaw the Alliance's complex application process for the State's dual pilot sites, which involved extensive stakeholder input and innovative strategic thinking about integrated insurance coverage for medical care and long-term care benefits. Previously, she worked for the California Primary Care Association as Director of Government Affairs.

"By consolidating functions and focusing company officers on strategy and long-term stability, the Alliance is poised to enhance productivity and efficiency and effectively serve a larger membership base who rely on quality customer-oriented government subsidized health insurance," said Lamirault.

Alameda Alliance for Health (Alliance) is a nonprofit managed care health plan providing high quality health care services accessible and affordable to lower-income people of Alameda County. The Alliance provides health care coverage to over 125,000 low-income children and adults through four programs: Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, Alliance Group Care, and Alliance CompleteCare. For more information, visit

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