Lynn Mitchell


Medicaid Director (2000-2010)


Dr. Mitchell was the Medicaid director at the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) from 2000 to 2010. In this role, she oversaw the day-to-day operations for member/provider services across all SoonerCare programs and benefit structures. She played a prominent role in national Medicaid policy, serving on the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Medicaid Directors (NASMD) and chairing the Pharmacy Technical Advisory Group on behalf of NASMD and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. She previously served as OHCA’s medical director from 1995-2000. Prior to becoming OHCA’s medical director, she was a faculty member at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. 

She earned a master’s in public health with an emphasis in epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center where she also completed her medical degree.

Leadership Project

Goal: Empower beneficiaries with chronic conditions to reach out to their physicians using behavioral economic incentives.

Lynn Mitchell, MD, tested behavioral economic concepts to potentially improve patient interactions with primary care providers regarding cholesterol tests and use of statin medications. In collaboration with ideas42, a behavioral economics research entity based at Harvard, Dr. Mitchell and her team implemented an intervention for beneficiaries with diabetes using tailored outreach letters and low-cost incentives. The intervention, which touched roughly 2,300 beneficiaries, tested different outreach strategies to encourage beneficiaries to talk to their doctor about cholesterol and statins. Approaches included a standard letter and a more strongly worded letter with various combinations of incentives, i.e., $5 gift card and post-it notes. The letters were sent in February 2010 and claims data will be gathered and analyzed in summer 2010 to determine resulting changes in behavior related to office visits, cholesterol tests, and statin prescriptions filled. Early results suggest a sizeable percentage of beneficiaries visited the doctor and activated the gift cards.

Related Resources

Dr. Lynn Mitchell, Oklahoma Medicaid Director, spoke to peers and other senior Medicaid staffers...