Melissa Joy Cohen


Melissa is Vice President for Medicare at Aurrera Health Group.  She is a health plan senior executive with expertise in the development and implementation of payment models. She has extensive experience in both the public and private sector for the design and implementation of alternative payment models for health care providers participating in the Medicare, Medicaid, and Commercial insurance programs.

She joined the CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) at its inception in 2011 and drove the design and implementation of payment models across the care continuum including Pioneer ACO, Next Generation ACO, Bundled Payments for Care Improvement, Comprehensive End-Stage Renal Disease Care, Value Based Insurance Design, and the Medication Therapy Management Model. She led the rulemaking process on the expansion of Pioneer ACO into the Medicare Shared Savings Program, the Advance Payment Model Section of the Medicare and Chip Reauthorization Act and was the CMS liaison for the revised SAMHSA 42 CFR Part 2 Rule.

She was responsible for management of the Center’s 10-billion-dollar budget and investment portfolio. From 2018-2021, She was Vice President of Payment Innovation and Strategy at Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield where she led value-based contracting. Melissa received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a law degree from Fordham University and a master’s in public administration with a focus on health policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  She is a member of Chief, a network focused on supporting and connecting women leaders and a legal volunteer for HIAS.