Malloy taps consumer protection official to be state healthcare advocate

State of CT

State Healthcare Advocate Ted Doolittle

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has appointed Ted Doolittle to serve as the state’s healthcare advocate, tapping an attorney with a wide range of experience to lead an office that helps consumers with health care issues and works on policy matters.

Doolittle, who lives in West Hartford, is currently in charge of enforcement at the state Department of Consumer Protection’s occupational and professional division, which investigates and handles consumer complaints about state-licensed occupations and professions.

The previous healthcare advocate, Victoria Veltri, left the office to serve as the chief health policy advisor to Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman. Demian Fontanella, the office’s general counsel, has been serving as the acting healthcare advocate.

Doolittle’s past work includes serving as an associate general counsel at UnitedHealthcare; working on Medicaid, prescription drug and other health care issues in the Connecticut attorney general’s office; and serving as deputy director for policy and enforcement in the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Center for Program Integrity. He also worked in health care compliance for CGI Federal and in the healthcare group at LeClairRyan law firm.

Malloy cited Doolittle’s experience in a statement on the nomination, which is subject to confirmation by the General Assembly.

“Especially in these unpredictable times when people are understandably worried about the future availability and accessibility of their healthcare services, we need a strong proponent on behalf of consumers who will work as a voice on behalf of those who need assistance navigating the complexities of our healthcare system, and I believe that Ted is an excellent fit to be that proponent,” Malloy said.

In a statement released by the governor’s office, Doolittle said he looked forward to fighting for people “facing difficult healthcare issues.”

“The coming year promises a continued high pace of change in the healthcare industry, and I look forward to leading the OHA team in relentless, consumer-focused collaboration with the state’s health insurance carriers, healthcare providers, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders to ensure that these changes produce what the people of Connecticut deserve – increased healthcare quality, improved access to care, and lower costs,” he said.

State law requires the governor to select a healthcare advocate from a list of candidates provided by the advisory committee for the Office of the Healthcare Advocate.

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