David S. Abernethy

David S. Abernethy

David S. Abernethy is a health policy and government relations consultant in Washington, DC. He is Managing Director of the David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship.

From 1996 to 2013 he was Senior Vice President of EmblemHealth, the parent company of HIP Health Plan of New York, Group Health Incorporated, and ConnectiCare serving in a variety of positions. He was SVP, Operations, responsible for claims, billing, customer service, grievance and appeals, and enrollment. He was executive director of HIP of Florida, and SVP Government Relations, responsible for all issues relating to Federal and State government for the health plans and for directing the company’s Washington office.

Mr. Abernethy worked from 1987 to 1996 for the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives in a variety of positions including Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Health. As such he was the Committee’s principal staff person for Medicare and for health reform. He was particularly involved in the design of legislation concerning comprehensive health insurance, hospital payment policy, managed care, tax treatment of health care organizations, reorganization of rural health care, and related topics.

Prior to joining the Committee on Ways and Means, Mr. Abernethy was Deputy Commissioner of Health for Planning, Policy, and Resource Development for the New York State Department of Health. In that capacity from 1982 through 1987, he directed the Department's health planning and policy development division, developing a range of initiatives affecting long-term care financing, hospital reimbursement and capital investment, ambulatory surgery, primary care in underserved areas, maternal and child health, and preventive health services in the State of New York. .

Mr. Abernethy is the author with David A. Pearson of Regulating Hospital Costs: The Development of Public Policy as well as a number of articles on health policy. He is the former President of the American Health Planning Association (AHPA) and a recipient of the Richard H. Schlesinger Achievement Award given by AHPA and the American Public Health Association (APHA). He is formerly a member of the Governing Council of APHA. He has a teaching position in health policy at the School of Public Health of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and formerly at the School of Hygiene and Public Health of the Johns Hopkins University. He is former Chair and a current member of the board of the David Winston Health Policy Fellowship. He has also served on the boards of the New York and Florida Health Plan Associations.

Mr. Abernethy has also worked for the Subcommittee on Health and the Environment of the House Committee on Commerce (1977-1980) and as the Administrator of the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic in San Francisco (1974-1976). He holds a Master's degree in Public Health (Health Services Administration) from Yale University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Claremont Men's College, cum laude in History.

Mr. Abernethy is married to Elizabeth Parker Lewis and has two children, Janie and Thomas.