John Stephen is the founder and managing partner of The Stephen Group. Prior to founding The Stephen Group, John served as Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services from 2003 to 2007. In that capacity, John oversaw the state’s largest department, which included Medicaid, the divisions of children youth and families, behavioral health, developmental disabilities, public health, juvenile justice, and financial assistance. John led the DHHS through a period of major innovation and reorganization, including improving Medicaid and child welfare operations and engaging families on assistance in work activities. John also developed and implemented a nationally recognized Health Care Reform programs that focused Medicaid on prevention, wellness and rebalancing long term care. John initiated disease management and care coordination programs that transitioned New Hampshire Medicaid away from treating the sick to keeping people healthy. Through all of John’s efforts, Medicaid long term care home and community placements increased 23%, replacing more expensive nursing home placements, which dropped 11%. Moreover, during each of the four years John was Commissioner, New Hampshire ranked first nationally in the Kids Count survey. During that same period, the enrollment of low income, uninsured children into the State’s Medicaid and SCHIP program increased by 7500. John also oversaw the state’s welfare program, Special Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) program. In this role, John was also able to transform welfare in New Hampshire, reducing the rolls by 20 percent and dramatically increasing work participation rates by bringing accountability to the program. John also assisted the State of New Hampshire in drafting legislation transitioning the Medicaid Fee-For- Service program to capitated, full risk, managed care for all Medicaid populations and services.
During his management consulting career, John has led efforts in numerous states to transform various aspects of Health and Human Services to provide better quality and access for beneficiaries. John recently led the TSG team in reviewing and analyzing the entire operations of the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS), Medicaid, Long Term Care, Behavioral Health, and Developmental Disabilities programs. After delivering its Assessment Report and Recommendations to a Legislative Task Force, John and the TSG team developed an implementation plan for the legislature to effectively monitor several Medicaid transformation projects in that state.
John also led the TSG team that conducted an end-to- end assessment of the Child Protective Services organization, process, and technology in the State of Texas. This assessment concentrated of all aspects of child welfare, including protective services, family based services, children’s Medicaid and foster care services. The TSG team developed a comprehensive analysis including and assessment of contracts management, including IV E contracts, organizational design and continuous quality improvement. John has assisted the Commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services in implementing aspects of the TSG plan that has become part of the Texas Child Protective Services Transformation. Overall goals of transformation are to reduce turnover, decrease time to permanency, and decrease time to close investigations, and enhance child safety and well-being.
John led a similar child welfare consulting project Florida for the Florida Department of Children and Families, where he assisted the Secretary in developing the state’s future strategic vision, business case and implementation plan for its child welfare transformation project. John worked directly with the Secretary in identifying issues in the Florida Abuse Hotline and the Child Protective Investigators that needed reform. John worked with the Secretary’s staff to prepare a business case and support for RFP for $100 million of technology work to support the Child Welfare Transformation as well as the maintenance and operations to support the state’s child welfare information system.
Additionally, John led the TSG team in assessing and recommending improvements to the South Carolina Medicaid program for Governor Nikki Haley in her first term. These recommendations led to recent Medicaid reform initiatives in South Carolina that involved an integrated health care strategy targeted to costly dual eligible population.
In the past, John has also worked extensively on other state health and human services projects in the states of South Carolina, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Florida, Illinois, and Maine. John served as technical advisor to the State of Illinois in interviewing candidates for the head of Medicaid, Health and Finance and Child Welfare agencies. John served as a consultant to Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn’s Taxpayer Action Board and in the capacity drafted the Board’s report on Medicaid and Human Services system recommendations. John was also asked by the State of Illinois Senate Special Committee on Medicaid Reform to provide key testimony in December of 2010 that led to Illinois passing legislation that has resulted in the state rebalancing long term care away from high cost nursing home care. John, acting as the TSG lead, completed a Medicaid cost efficiency study for the Illinois Policy Institute, which led to a series of recommendations incorporated by the Illinois legislature.
John was an Assistant Attorney General, former Assistant Commissioner of the NH Department of Safety, and a prosecutor at the county level for over 10 years. He is a respected author, and attorney. John received his BA in 1984 from the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire, and his JD in 1987 from the Detroit College of Law.