Longest Serving TennCare Director to step down

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (News Channel 5) – Governor Bill Haslam announced the longest serving director of TennCare will be leaving.

Darin Gordon has also been the Deputy Commissioner of Health Care Finance and Administration.

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Governor Haslam announced Wednesday Gordon will enter the private sector at the end of June.

The governor added Gordon would be “leaving a nationally respected legacy of stability and innovation for a program serving some of Tennessee’s most vulnerable populations.”

TennCare began in 1994 and has been the state’s Medicaid program, a $10.5 billion health care enterprise.



The program has provided services to nearly 1.5 million Tennesseans and has earned customer satisfaction ratings above 90 percent for the past seven years.

Gordon took on the role in 2006. He has not only been the longest serving TennCare director in state history, but he’s also currently the longest serving director in the country.

According to reports from the governor, the position changed hands ten times during the 12 years prior to Gordon’s appointment.

TennCare has maintained the lowest cost trend in its history under Gordon’s leadership.

“Across the country states face the same challenge: a Medicaid program that takes up more and more of the state’s budget, pulling money away from other service areas,” Haslam said. “The impact of Darin’s steady leadership extends well beyond TennCare. Darin has quite literally saved Tennessee taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by keeping the program’s costs low, allowing Tennessee to invest in K-12 education and other critical service areas. He has managed to achieve that while still running a program with a 95 percent customer satisfaction rating.”

During Gordon’s tenure, the governor said TennCare gained national recognition for being innovative and well-run.

“Darin brought much needed stability to the program, guiding it through difficult times, and all of Tennessee is indebted to his incredible service,” Haslam added.

“I will always be grateful to Governor Haslam and former Governor Bredesen for giving me the rewarding opportunity to serve the people of Tennessee in such a meaningful way as the director of TennCare,” Gordon said. “It has been an absolute honor to be granted this once in a lifetime

experience. During my public service, I have been incredibly fortunate to have worked with such an exceptional team of hard working and dedicated people. Through the efforts of so many, we have successfully transformed TennCare to one of the most highly regarded programs in the country.”

Gordon’s last day has been set for June 30 as he continued work on TennCare’s waiver extension and aids in the transition to new leadership.

*Photo via News Channel 5