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Health chief takes over in Louisiana

Advocate Capitol News Bureau, September 13, 2010

As Bruce Greenstein takes over as state health chief today, he sees his role as one of implementing and executing Gov. Bobby Jindal’s health-care initiatives.

At the top of the list are the launch this spring of a major overhaul of the way indigent health care is delivered in Louisiana and privatizing some health-care services.

“I’m coming in as an execution specialist,” Greenstein said.

Greenstein said he’s not good at the politics involved in health-care decision-making.

“What I am good at is executing institutional change, looking at alternative ways of carrying things out,” said Greenstein, a former regional administrator for the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Greenstein left a job in Seattle as a Microsoft Corp. managing director dealing with health-care technology to take over that state’s $7.7 billion health-care enterprise.

He said he’s leaving his wife and two young daughters in Seattle for the next month or so “to give me a chance to dig in deep and work long hours without the pressure of getting home.”

Greenstein said he plans to use his Microsoft-gleaned knowledge and connections — looking for ways to use technological approaches to solving problems and making health-care operations run more smoothly in the state.