Mission Driven Health Policy Firm Expands, Launches Expert Podcast

Sacramento, California, UNITED STATES

Sacramento, CA, May 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aurrera Health Group, a nationally-recognized health policy and strategic communications consulting firm that has historically focused on the Medicaid program, today announced the launch of a new Medicare business line, led by Melissa Cohen and Meg Koepke. Cohen and Koepke will lead expansion of the firm’s services adding Medicare strategy, operations, and policy counsel to Aurrera Health’s portfolio. Established in 2005, Aurrera Health Group is a women-owned, mid-sized organization based in Sacramento, California with additional offices located in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Washington, D.C.

“Medicare is a natural progression of Aurrera Health’s commitment to affordable, accessible, high-quality health coverage and care. Meg and Melissa are the right partners for our firm because they are dedicated to that mission and bring a bold vision for how Aurrera Health can continue to broaden its support of government agencies, health care delivery systems, payers, and more,” said Hilary Haycock, president of Aurrera Health Group. “We are pleased to be able to offer this deep expertise across all government programs to new and existing clients.” 

Aurrera Health Group has grown and evolved significantly over the years. In 2015, the firm’s founder, Peter Harbage, passed away due to complications from leukemia. Hilary Haycock and Jennifer Ryan, executive vice president of Aurrera Health Group, stepped in to lead the firm, which has since grown from 30 to 70 employees and expanded its client base to include more than a dozen states, as well as local government agencies, delivery systems, and associations representing community health centers, managed care plans, consumer advocacy groups, and many others.  

“Medicare is destination health care for all of us—if we’re fortunate enough to live into our golden years. We’re thrilled to have found a home for this practice within Aurrera Health Group. Medicare is also a ripe place for continuous improvement—there is much to be gained from sharing what works best across government programs,” said Koepke.  

Together, Cohen and Koepke have vast experience developing and delivering value-based care and health care payment transformation. Like several others leading Aurrera Health’s work, they have served in executive leadership positions within the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation), as well as within provider and health plan organizations. “I am thrilled to have these two accomplished women join Aurrera Health Group,” said Ryan. “As the health care landscape continues to evolve, it feels particularly critical to ensure that our firm is well-equipped to respond to the federal government’s priorities related to innovation, payment reform, and expanding access to health coverage for all Americans.”

Starting today, you can hear from Cohen and Koepke directly on their weekly “Medicare Meet-Up” podcast—conversations with national experts about the waterfront of opportunities in Medicare, from improving virtual care to making sure underrepresented populations benefit from lessons learned in Medicare cost and care transformation.

“Our goal is to work as directly as possible for the change we seek in health care. Change isn’t delivered through policy alone, nor within a vacuum of care delivery—it happens gradually over time. Change is achieved through startups and payers, through state governments – who also have a role to play in ensuring a thriving Medicare program—and through the work. Affecting change takes constant care and feeding, and we are ready for it,” said Cohen. 


About Aurrera Health Group

Aurrera Health Group’s mission is to advance access to affordable, comprehensive, high-quality health coverage and care, and we pursue clients that enable our firm to stay true to that mission. Our firm is rooted in a commitment to improving and strengthening the health care delivery system. We pride ourselves on our forward-thinking approach to health policy and strategic communications, our ability to adapt to changing landscapes, and our innovative spirit.

Aurrera Health Group includes nationally recognized experts in Medicaid, Medicare, and behavioral health policy and financing, as well as a team of strategic communications professionals. Our women-led firm provides the experience and acumen that is essential to navigating a complex and ever-changing health policy landscape. 

For more information on Aurrera Health Group, visit




01-Press Release_AHG Medicare Announcement 5.27.21 .pdf

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