Kait B Roe: Vice President and Senior Partner
Kait B. Roe is a patient advocate with over 12 years experience advocating for patient inclusion in the redesign of the healthcare system. Raised in a home with a retired Registered Nurse who read RN magazine to her for fun, and spending several years in rural Colorado as a volunteer EMT, she was familiar with the provider side of the health care equation; however, she ended up as an involuntary participant in her own care in 2000 when she injured her back and was forced to find her way through the system -- uninsured and a student. Ending up disabled with severe depression and two herniated discs in her back, she was forced to navigate Maine’s Medicaid system. This year-long process of hospitalizations for both conditions garnered her the insight that while she was capable of advocating for herself, not every person in similar situations would be able to do so for themselves, nor should they have to. The "system" was disjointed, provider-centered and not focused on a patient regaining health at all. After advocating in front of the state legislature and in state policy rooms, Kait began getting requests from policy makers, lawyers and advocacy groups to get more involved. Now, more than 12 years later she has become well known in Maine and nationwide as a tireless voice for patient centered healthcare which MUST include patients in every room, from the exam room to the board room.
Policy Experience Highlights
Kait spent ten years working with policy makers to ensure they understood what a patient perspective looked like, while honing her own understanding of Medicaid rules and policies in Maine. Medicaid is a complicated beast and one which is going to be even more complicated after 2014 with the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Many patients and families in several states will be newly insured under Medicaid expansion. The policy bones of the Medicaid system are a complicated structure involving decades of implemented rule upon implemented rules, much like calcium deposits; some strengthen, others are problematic. Understanding this complexity is a steep learning curve and one which Kait excelled at in Maine. Given this experience, she can now offer expertise in the federal Medicaid rules, quickly understand each state's unique position and interpretation of the Federal rules, and then help policymakers understand the consequences, both intended and not, for the patient or family depending on Medicaid for their health care coverage. Having moved to Maryland recently, she has jumped in with both feet to assist with the patient perspective for Maryland's Medicaid program, while also adding her voice to the Maryland Health Care Commission's Health Information Exchange Policy Board work group.
Patient Representative Highlights
Kait spent the last several years of her time in Maine working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/ State of Maine funded Patient Centered Medical Home Pilot Project (PCMH). She became an integral part of the Working Group tasked with the implementation and ongoing evaluation of the project for 26 practices. She helped define expected outcomes and other deliverables, always keeping everyone at the table reminded that "if you call it patient centered, there better be a patient in the middle of it." Under the auspices of the PCMH project, a new patient engagement arm was formed called the Patient and Family Leadership Team (PFLT) whose main goal was to provide expertise in the patient perspective for the pilot project practices. Kait and her PFLT members provided in-person evaluation and advice for practices trying to implement a Patient Centered model of care. Eventually, she helped design and choose participants for a secondary project funded by a grant through CMS, piggybacking on the PCMH pilot for Community Health Teams. This was an arduous process and one which helped define the scope of services for those practices reaching out to serve the highest utilizers of health care services.