Q&A with Jami Snyder

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Photography by Nicole Neri
Photography by Nicole Neri

The new director of Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System answers questions (via email) about her role, which she took on at the beginning of this year. Snyder, who served as deputy director since December 2017, replaces the now retired Tom Betlach.

How did your previous role prepare you for this?
I was responsible for managing a team that provided direct oversight of managed care organizations’ adherence to established federal, state and Medicaid agency requirements. My previous role with AHCCCS and my service as the state medicaid director in Texas have been instrumental in preparing me for this role.

What are your goals for AHCCCS?
My strategic goals for AHCCCS are to maintain AHCCCS’ long-standing commitment to bending the cost curve while improving member health outcomes and reducing system fragmentation that can serve as a barrier to coordinating care across the continuum of services… and explore innovative solutions that encourage members to take active participation in their overall health.

What do you think of recent rule changes that may require some Arizonans to enter work and education programs to qualify for AHCCCS?
The AHCCCS Works community engagement requirements, which are slated to go into effect no sooner than January 1, 2020, align with our efforts to focus on what’s known as “social determinates of health,” those factors outside of immediate health care delivery that drastically affect overall health. Employment is one such factor.

What might Arizonans not know about AHCCCS?
AHCCCS provides health care coverage to almost half of the children in the state and covers 54 percent of births in the state.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I am an avid hiker who loves spending time on Arizona’s trails. I’ve completed the Phoenix Seven Summits Challenge numerous times and never tire of exploring the beauty of our deserts and mountains.

IN HIGH DEMAND
While recreational marijuana isn’t yet legal in Arizona, medical marijuana continues to be a budding industry: The Department of Health Services reported Arizonans consumed almost 60 tons of marijuana last year – up more than 40 percent from 2017. Today’s dispensaries provide MMJ at every price point.

TruMed
TruMed aims to make medical marijuana shopping a high-end experience with a modern, clean and comfortable storefront, pure and potent products and highly knowledgeable staff. The dispensary is known for carrying some of the highest quality strains of weed in the state as well as for its large, well-stocked wax and vape section.
1613 N. 40th St., Phoenix
602-275-1279, trumedaz.com

Level Up
Want it all and need it delivered? Level Up stocks a variety of cannabis products – whether you’re looking for wax, resin or one of its 45 strains of flower. Products run the gamut on quality and potency, so there’s something for any budget. The dispensary’s “patients, always” mantra translates to attentive customer service and discounts.
Two Valley locations, levelupdispensaries.com

Urban Greenhouse
Urban Greenhouse boasts one of the largest selections of bud with a focus on locally sourced, pesticide-free plants – great for medical patients who have to limit exposure to toxins. Its central location, long hours and daily specials make it an accessible option, with a variety of products available at lower prices.
2630 W. Indian School Rd., Phoenix
480-209-1804, urbangreenhouse.com

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