Benson new head of ACHA

Holly Benson is taking over as secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. Gov. Charlie Crist made the announcement this morning.

Benson is replacing Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, who is leaving after a little more than year on the job, to return to the private sector in Washington state.

According to the Orlando Sentinel:

Benson, who served the last year as secretary at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, is an interesting pick. In the House, she led Gov. Jeb Bush’s drive to cut costs in Florida’s $15 billion Medicaid program in 2005 by turning over more case management to HMOs. Late last year, though, AHCA elected not to expand the privatization program beyond the Jacksonville and Broward County areas, instead chosing to focus on a $64 million pilot project to expand health care programs and potentially speeding up the regulatory process for building new hospitals.