Background Photo Provided by the
Nebraska Tourism Commission
Offical Nebraska Government Website
Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Gov. Ricketts Thanks Medicaid Director for Leadership

Media Contacts:  

Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970

Justin Pinkerman, 402-471-1967


Media Release:

Gov. Ricketts Thanks Medicaid Director for Leadership    


LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts thanked the director of the Medicaid and Long-Term Care (MLTC) at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for his service as he transitions back into the private sector.  Dr. Matthew Van Patton’s last day leading the division will be February 7, 2020.  The Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care oversees the Nebraska Medicaid program, home and community services for the elderly and persons with disabilities, and the State Unit on Aging. 


“Director Van Patton has done an outstanding job in leading the Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “His devotion to helping people live better lives is evident in the legacy he leaves behind, including having laid the foundation for providing more customer-focused, efficient, and effective services for Nebraskans in need.  We are grateful for his service, and wish him well as he transitions back into the private sector.”


Since joining DHHS in 2018, Van Patton has focused on his quadruple aim, which included: 1) Improving the patient experience of care, 2) Improving the provider experience of care, 3) Improving the health of populations; 4) Reducing the per capita cost of health care.  Over the past year, Van Patton’s largest undertaking has been delivering Medicaid expansion on time.  In December 2019, MLTC submitted an 1115 Waiver to allow the Department to implement the necessary infrastructure for expansion.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid subsequently granted permission for MLTC to go into a 30-day public comment period.


“I have enjoyed my time serving in this capacity,” said Director Van Patton.  “I thank the Governor for the opportunity to have had this tour of duty in public service.  I am incredibly proud of the work the Medicaid team has done over the last two years.  Establishing a paradigm focused on the quadruple aim helps keep our mission-driven work pointed in the direction of defining the value of our work and the outcomes we achieved in the lives of those we serve.”


“I truly wish Matthew well and know that he will bring the same level of expertise and ownership to his next endeavor,” said CEO Dannette R. Smith.  “I am finalizing with his team a transition plan and am confident that I have the right people in place to do this very important work.”


Effective February 7th, Jeremy Brunssen, Deputy Director of Finance and Program Integrity, will serve as interim director.  Governor Ricketts’ search for the next MLTC Director has commenced.