Barbara Sears Sworn in as Director of Medicaid
Barbara Sears was sworn in as Director of the Ohio Department of Medicaid on Dec. 23. Sears, who most recently served as the Director of Special Projects for the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation, replaces John McCarthy who recently announced his departure from state government after six years leading the agency.
Prior to joining the Kasich Administration, Sears represented the 47th House District in the Ohio House of Representatives. While a legislator, she served as the Majority Floor Leader, Chair of the House Insurance Committee and Chair of the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee. The majority of her legislative and policy work focused on the state’s health and human services, including Medicaid and unemployment reforms. Sears has been honored with over two dozen legislator of the year awards and lifetime achievement awards, including recognition by the Governor’s Council of People with Disabilities.
Sears also worked closely with OAMES to pass legislation several years ago to reverse "bundling" of custom seating/CRT in nursing home per diem rates under the Medicaid program that created an access issue for long term residents. This legislation restored funding back to the Medicaid DME benefit where it remains today.
Sears began her political career in 1997 when she was elected to Sylvania City Council. She served on city council for ten years, the last four as President of Council and Chair of Finance. Additionally, she chaired the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG). Sears was also an active health and life insurance agent and small business owner from 1985 to 2016.