Led by a team of experienced health care policy experts, the Texas Association of Health Plans (TAHP) is the statewide trade association representing health insurers, Medicaid plans, Medicare Advantage plans, and other related health care entities operating in Texas.
For three decades, TAHP has been a leader on issues that improve the lives of Texans and strengthen health care in Texas.
TAHP is dedicated to promoting affordable health care for all Texans through advocacy and education. It is our goal to increase public awareness about our members’ services, health care delivery benefits, and contributions to communities throughout the state. TAHP strives to build and foster valuable relationships with its members, industry, and community stakeholders, as well as with representatives of the Texas Legislature and state agencies.
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Jamie Dudensing is the chief executive officer of the Texas Association of Health Plans. As an advocate for public and private health plans, Jamie is dedicated to improving access to quality health care for the uninsured and committed to enhancing consumer choice and the affordability of health insurance for all Texans.
Jamie, a graduate of both the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs and Texas Tech School of Nursing, began her career in Austin after being recruited to become the Capitol nurse. After gaining a Master’s in Public Affairs from the LBJ School, she served two sessions as the Health and Human Services Budget Analyst on the House Appropriations Committee. She then joined Lt. Governor Dewhurst's staff, where she first served as Senior Advisor for Budget and Policy. Most recently, Jamie served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Policy Director for Lt. Governor Dewhurst.
With almost two decades of engagement in health care and appropriations policy, Jamie provides TAHP with an extensive record of coordinating legislative strategies, testifying before legislative committees, and working closely with state agency administrators to formulate and implement policy.
Jason Baxter joined the Texas Association of Health Plans in 2014 after more than a decade in the Texas Senate as a top aide to former Senator Tommy Williams. In that capacity, Jason served as Deputy Committee Director of the Senate Finance Committee where he was responsible for the oversight of all tax policy legislation.
Jason’s service in the Senate provided him with the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with key legislators and staff members and work on a variety of issues including state budget, taxes, transportation, and insurance.
He is a lifelong resident of Austin and a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio.
Patti Doner serves as the Texas Association of Health Plans’ Director of Operations, managing all of the association’s quarterly and annual events, including the Medical Directors Forum, the Managed Care Conference and Trade Show, regular networking receptions, and member events.
Patti oversees day-to-day operations at the TAHP office, including managing accounts and existing memberships, as well as recruitment of new members. Prior to joining TAHP, Patti worked in the office of Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the policy division following service in the Texas Senate for Senator Jane Nelson. Patti is a native Texan and resides in San Marcos.
John Ford is the Director of Communications for the Texas Association of Health Plans and has worked in health care, politics, and government for nearly a decade. He joined TAHP in 2018 after three years as Communications Director for the Louisiana Association of Health Plans in Baton Rouge.
Before joining the team at LAHP, John worked in media relations for the Louisiana Department of Health and in corporate communications for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. He has also worked on national and state-level political campaigns as well as in the Louisiana Senate. John lives in Leander with his wife, Heather, and daughter, Olivia Grace. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University.
Amanda Hudgens joined the Texas Association of Health Plans in July 2017 as the Director of Special Projects. Prior to joining TAHP, Amanda served as a Project Manager in the Medicaid and CHIP Division at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Amanda managed the timelines and performance of large, highly complex projects across the system including provider re-enrollment, cross-agency initiatives, and multiple projects aimed at improving birth outcomes. Amanda also served as Legislative Aide to Representative Craig Eiland, where she oversaw Appropriations Committee hearings with a specific focus on Health and Human Services. She currently manages the implementation and ongoing operations of the Credentialing Verification Organization and works on other Medicaid-focused projects.
Amanda obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and received her Master's in Public Health from Texas A&M University.
Until November 2015, Tania served as the Director of Project Management for the Medicaid and CHIP Division of Texas Health and Human Services Commission where she was responsible for the planning and development of a number of major Medicaid and CHIP initiatives. Tania has over 18 years of experience in health care including experience in program and policy development, operations and systems, medical billing, and business expansion.
In her tenure at HHSC, Tania was responsible for overseeing the implementation of a number of major managed care initiatives, including adding nursing facility and psycho-social rehabilitation services to managed care and expanding of STAR+PLUS to include individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Tania has assisted a number of national managed care plans outside of Texas with RFP development for MLTSS, Acute Care Medicaid, and Dental services. Most recently, Tania worked as a Senior Consultant/Project Director for Seller's Dorsey.
Melissa Eason has practiced law for over 20 years and is currently Regulatory Counsel with TAHP. Prior to her work with TAHP, she practiced in the insurance section of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld before acting as in-house counsel for two major carriers, most recently UnitedHealthcare.
Tom Bond is co-chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Government Law & Policy and Insurance Regulatory & Transactions practice groups and managing shareholder of the Austin Office. He focuses his practice on insurance and regulatory law both in Texas and on a national basis. His clients include insurance holding companies; life, health and property liability companies; trade associations; reinsurers; health maintenance organizations; corporate insurance agencies; commercial insureds; and the insurance regulators of other states. Tom has managed a number of insurance industry strategic initiatives at the Texas Legislature in the areas of workers compensation, health insurance and managed care, credit and specialty lines coverages, broking and regulated transactions, and insurance regulation and taxation.
Tom is a frequent speaker on public policy topics related to insurance, health care, and legislative policymaking and is a strategic advisor to both publicly and privately held insurance enterprises. Tom also represents diverse clients before the Texas Legislature and numerous executive branch agencies.
Texas Covered Health Care Conference + Expo is the largest event of its kind in Texas and brings together decision-makers from across the health care spectrum—from major health plans, providers, and regulators to legislators, journalists, academics, and more. Driven by an agenda tailored to reflect the pressing issues of the day, conference presentations, panels, and conversations cover the wide range of challenges and opportunities posed by federal health reform, state policies, and budget issues, as well as the ins and outs of operating health plans and health care entities on a day-to-day basis.
Texas Medicaid Works is a comprehensive education and advocacy effort highlighting the positive impact of Medicaid health insurance coverage in Texas. Together, we educate policymakers and the public about the positive benefits and results of Texas Medicaid health insurance coverage—a collaboration of doctors, hospitals, and health insurance plans. Through this collaboration, Texans receive high-quality, comprehensive care from a network of health care providers. Texas Medicaid Works highlights the need for continued innovation and flexibility in Medicaid and how the program can improve lives and save money—our goal is to ensure that Medicaid’s best solutions reach as many families as possible.
Texans for Affordable Healthcare is an advocacy effort highlighting the need to address the health care cost crisis in Texas, which is largely driven by surprise billing, freestanding emergency rooms, and prescription drug prices.
In collaboration with the Texas Medical Association and HHSC-contracted managed care organizations, TAHP’s Texas Credentialing Alliance aims to reduce credentialing burdens and cost for all Texas providers including physicians, hospitals, DME providers, facilities, and all types of ancillary providers, including nursing facilities and other long-term services and supports.