Senior Executive Team
The Senior Executive Team is made up of Department leaders who are in charge of carrying out our mission and vision.
Kim Bimestefer was appointed by Governor John Hickenlooper to serve as Executive Director for the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing on January 8, 2018. She was reappointed by Governor Jared Polis in December 2018 and confirmed by the Colorado Senate in January 2019. As Executive Director, Ms. Bimestefer oversees the operations and strategic direction of the Department which administers the Colorado Medicaid (Health First Colorado) and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) programs.
Executive Director Kim Bimestefer has been a senior healthcare executive for more than 25 years in not-for-profit, publicly-traded and sole-proprietorship organizations. She has been the local Board Chair, President & General Manager for Cigna Mountain States, responsible for strategy, customer satisfaction, care management, provider contracting, growth and P&L. Prior to that role, she founded and built a $10 billion, national division inside Cigna to serve more than 1.3 million members. She began her health care career at a nonprofit insurance company, rising to a board-appointed officer overseeing about half the company’s membership as well as strategy, product development, member service, and network partnerships.
Director Bimestefer has received numerous industry awards for leadership in business and industry, including: Forbes Women Leaders Issue, one of seven western region leaders recognized for exemplary business leadership, June 2016; Colorado’s 25 Most Powerful Women in Business, Colorado Women’s Chamber, 2016; Outstanding Women in Business/Healthcare, Denver Business Journal, 2015; Women of Distinction, Girl Scouts of America, 2015.
Bimestefer has been active in community and business organizations, such as the Colorado Forum, Colorado Concern, and the Colorado Women’s Chamber. She has served on many boards including the Colorado Association of Health Plans, the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, the American Heart Association, and the Precious Child Advisory Board. She also has chaired several community events, such as the American Cancer Society’s CEOs against Cancer and the CPRD gala fund-raiser.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from Towson State University and her MBA from Loyola College of Maryland, both cum laude. She is also a graduate of the Wright Management Group and Darden School of Business, Executive Leadership Programs.
Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operations Officer
Tom Massey is the Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operations Officer at the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. He is responsible for the management of government relations, internal and external communications, human resources, workforce development and facility operations.
Prior to coming to the Department, Massey served as a state legislator representing Colorado House District 60 (Poncha Springs, Salida) for eight years. He was a member of the Health and Environment Committee and chaired the House Education Committee. He sponsored several pieces of health care legislation, some of which included prescription drug monitoring, home health care, health information technology and electronic prescriptions in Health First Colorado. He also received numerous legislative honors, including awards from the Colorado Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Leadership for Healthy Communities, Colorado Substance Abuse Peer Services, and the Colorado Home Health Care Network.
Massey has been a member of the Colorado Child Welfare Commission, served on the Health Information Exchange Board, the Health Information Technology Advisory Board and has been a Colorado Health Foundation Fellow. He served on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Health Foundation. He also owned and operated four Coldwell Banker franchises in central and southern Colorado.
Massey received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of North Texas.
Finance Office Director
John Bartholomew is the Finance Office Director of the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. Bartholomew has been a member of the HCPF team for over 16 years. Prior to taking on his role as the Chief Financial Officer, John served as an economist, a statistical analyst, the director of the Rates and Analysis Division, and the Budget Director for the Department. In the past few years, he has played an instrumental role in finding departmental budget savings and assisting the Governor’s budget office in submitting balanced budgets.
Prior to joining the Department, Bartholomew was the lead economist at the Business Research Division at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has served on the board of the Denver Association of Business Economists from 2000 to 2009 and completed a fellowship at the Colorado Health Foundation.
John has a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Colorado, Boulder and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Delivery System and Payment Innovation Division Director and Interim Medicaid Director
Laurel Karabatsos is the Director of the Delivery System and Payment Innovation Division and Interim Medicaid Director at the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing. Karabatsos leads the Department’s work innovating, testing and refining new ways to deliver and pay for health services. She is committed to finding ways to make health care work better for Health First Colorado members while controlling costs for the state, to ensure the long-term viability of Health First Colorado for Coloradans who need it.
Most recently, Karabatsos has been leading reform through the Accountable Care Collaborative, a program that gives Health First Colorado members their full benefits while emphasizing coordinated care and good health outcomes. She laid the foundation for a thoughtful, step-wise approach to reform that makes the most of Colorado’s strengths while moving the state toward greater accountability for health care spending. Laurel and her team continue to build on this work by testing payment and delivery reform innovations within the Accountable Care Collaborative model.
Karabatsos' work with Health First Colorado began in 2001 when she managed the Quality Improvement section of the Department. As the leader of Health First Colorado’s program integrity and quality functions, Laurel measured health outcomes and client satisfaction across managed care and fee-for-service programs. She evaluated managed care health plan performance and set policies for utilization management.
Karabatsos holds a Master of Organizational Management degree from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies from the University of Colorado.
Office of Community Living Director
Bonnie Silva is the Director of the Office of Community Living and serves the role of guiding policy, strategy, and system redesign. The Office of Community Living administers long-term services and supports benefits for people with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities. This includes overseeing the entire spectrum of long-term services and supports, from services for people in their home and community to services provided by nursing homes.
Prior to her current role, Silva was the Long-Term Services & Supports Division Director at the Department. Silva has extensive experience in program administration, policy development, quality oversight and community engagement. Silva has worked on disability policy in both the government and non-profit sectors, holding positions with service provider agencies, case management agencies and state departments, working as a direct support professional for people with disabilities and in leadership positions providing oversight and direction for disability programs across the state.
Silva received a B.A. from University of Colorado at Denver.
Health Information Office Director
Chris Underwood serves as the Office Director of the Health Information Office for the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.
Underwood joined the Department in 2000 as a statistical analyst. During his time with the Department, he has held the position of manager and division director over various areas. At present, he is responsible for developing strategies for systems development and operations for client and provider eligibility, health care claims processing, and health information technology on behalf of the Department. In addition, he has oversight of the Department’s purchasing and contracting services. Previously he had oversight of the Safety Net Programs Section, which included administering the Colorado Indigent Care Program, Old Age Pension Health and Medical Care Program, School Health Services Program, and numerous projects to maximize federal Health First Colorado revenue. Other supervisory roles included oversight of Health First Colorado eligibility policy and operations, the calculation of managed care and hospital rates, external and internal audits to investigate waste and abuse in the Health First Colorado program, and analytical analysis and statistical reporting for the Department. He represents the Department on the Hospital Provider Fee Oversight and Advisory Board and several task forces and boards related to ending homelessness and individuals involved in the criminal justice system.
Underwood holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Colorado, where he also received his undergraduate degree in Economics. Still maintaining his interest in economics, he served on the board of the Denver Association of Business Economics and served as president of the board from 2001-2004.
Cost Control & Quality Improvement Office Director
Stephanie Ziegler is the Director of the Cost Control & Quality Improvement Office. The Cost Control & Quality Improvement Office was created following unanimous approval of SB18-266 in May of 2018. This law focuses on controlling Medicaid costs, which consume a significant portion of the state’s budget. Under Ziegler’s and the Executive Director’s guidance, the Office leads a collaborative effort across multiple stakeholders to drive insights and solutions that address the rising cost of health care across the state and within the Medicaid program, with a particular emphasis on reducing prices and addressing system inefficiencies to better meet the needs of Coloradans. In her role, Ziegler also crafts strategy and oversees cost management programs; ensures timely access to necessary care and support resources; assists with policy and payment mechanisms to promote value and leads efforts to significantly reduce cost across the health system.
Ziegler has extensive experience in the health care industry across the private, government and non-profit sectors. Prior to joining the Department, Ziegler held positions with Accenture, Anthem, and provided strategic advisory support to the Center for Naval Analyses work with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the U.S. Military Health System, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. More recently, she has worked with early stage ventures to develop digital health solutions that reach the consumer to improve population health while reducing health care cost.
Ziegler served on several boards including the Colorado Association of Health Plans and the Colorado Prevention Alliance. She earned her a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University and her MBA in Finance from the University of Colorado, Boulder.