WHO WE ARE
The Westchester Consulting Group was founded in 2002 to provide long-term health care and disability related research, consulting, and technical assistance services to public and private sector organizations. Our cross-disciplinary expertise is well suited to address a full range of long-term health care and disability issues. Our goal is to assist clients in developing and implementing innovative and effective policies, programs and solutions to current problems.
The Westchester Consulting Group serves a diverse group of clients in both the public and private sector including:
- Federal, state and local government health and human service agencies,
- Educational institutions, and
- For-profit and not-for-profit long-term care and disability service organizations
Susan A. Flanagan, M.P.H., Ph.D. is the founder and Principal of the Westchester Consulting Group. She is responsible for all research, consulting, and technical assistance services provided to clients; for marketing and financial operations, and for the strategic direction of the organization.
Dr. Flanagan has over 34 years’ experience with long-term health care and disability programs, finance and quality assurance issues on the federal, state and corporate levels. A significant portion of her work has been in designing, implementing and evaluating Medicare and Medicaid payment systems for nursing facilities and intermediary care facilities for the mentally retarded. Dr. Flanagan was the Director of the Bureau of Long-Term Care at the Massachusetts Rate Setting Commission and a co-principal investigator responsible for developing and implementing the Medicaid prospective case-mix payment system for Massachusetts nursing facilities. While with the MEDSTAT Group, she was a member of the evaluation team for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) Medicare Nursing Facility Prospective Case-Mix Payment System Demonstration under a subcontract with Abt Associates in Cambridge, MA.
Dr. Flanagan is a national leader in developing and implementing Federal, Medicaid and state-funded participant-directed support service programs for elders and individuals of all ages with disabilities and chronic conditions using various support services (i.e., Financial Management Services (FMS) and Information and Assistance (I&A) Services).
Dr. Flanagan has conducted four national studies related to participant-directed support services for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (DHHS/OASPE). They include: Consumer-Directed Attendant Services: How States Address Tax, Legal and Quality Assurance Issues (1994); Using ISOs to Facilitate the Use of CD-PAS: Key Operational Issues for State Program Administrators (1997) with Pamela S. Green; ASPE Consumer-Directed Support Service Program Inventory (2001), and Accessing Workers' Compensation Insurance for Consumer-Employed Personal Assistance Workers': Issues, Challenges and Promising Practices (2004). To date, she has provided research, policy and program development, analysis and evaluation, training, and technical assistance services to over three dozen state and local government agencies and private sector organizations related to participant-directed service programs using FMS.
Dr. Flanagan also was the project director for the national evaluation of the CMS Person-Centered Planning Implementation Grants (18) under a consulting agreement with Abt Associates in Cambridge, MA. She also is a technical assistance consultant for the CMS Technical Assistance for Self-directed and HCBS Project first under a subcontract with Acumen in Burlingame, CA and presently under a consulting agreement with New Editions Consulting, Inc. in Falls Church, VA.
Dr. Flanagan has worked on a number of projects related to evaluating states' long-term care system balancing. She was a subject expert for the CMS National Balancing Indicators Contract under a consulting agreement with Abt Associates in Cambridge, MA. Then she was the project director for the National Balancing Indicators Project (Phase II) at IMPAQ International in Columbia, MD. She also was a state lead and member of the evaluation team for the CMS FY’05 and FY’06 Systems Transformation Grants National Evaluation under a consulting agreement with Abt Associates. Finally, Dr. Flanagan is a subject expert for the CMS Money Follows the Person Demonstration Grants under a consulting agreement with New Editions Consulting, Inc, in Falls Church, VA.
Dr. Flanagan has worked on projects related to the direct service workforce. She was a technical expert and member of the project team for the CMS Direct Service Worker Resource Center under a consulting agreement with The Lewin Group in Falls Church, VA.
Dr. Flanagan received a B.A. in Biology and Chemistry from Skidmore College and a M.P.H. in Health Systems from Boston University School of Medicine. In addition, she was a Pew Fellow and received a Ph.D. in Social Policy from Brandeis University's Heller School of Social Policy and Management. Dr. Flanagan was an adjunct assistance professor at Boston University School of Public Health from 1989-2009 where she taught the course LTC Finance and was awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award (1994).
Prior to founding The Westchester Consulting Group, Dr. Flanagan held several key positions in the area of long-term health care policy and research. She was a Senior Manager at Ernst & Young, LLP were she was responsible for initiating and managing their New England Long-term Health Care Practice; Program Manager at The MEDSTAT Group; an Assistant Director in the Division of Health Financing and Systems at the U.S. General Accounting Office where she was awarded an Above and Beyond Award for efforts in researching and preparing the GAO Report, Impact of the Medicare Home Health Interim Payment System on Agency Closures and Access to Services; and the Director of the Bureau of Long-term Care at the Massachusetts Rate Setting Commission where she was one of three principal investigators that designed, implemented and evaluated a Medicaid prospective case-mix payment system for 580 Massachusetts nursing facilities.