Robert Kerr will leave his job as head of South Carolina's HHS department in about
three weeks, the agency said. Kerr, 48, announced his departure yesterday after four
years in the top job and 22 years working for the agency, which manages South
Carolina's Medicaid program. Kerr plans to form a healthcare consulting firm based in
Columbia, the state capital.
Kerr is credited with slowing the growth of Medicaid spending during his four years at
the helm of the agency without trimming the number of beneficiaries covered by the
program. ''Other states saw huge cuts in eligibility. That just did not occur here,''
said Sue Berkowitz, director of the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center,
according to the Associated Press.
Kerr's departure is the fourth among the heads of the state's social services agencies
in recent months, the AP reported. The directors of the state's insurance and social
services departments were recently replaced in recent months. The director of the
state Department of Health and Environmental Control, which oversees
certificate-of-need applications among other duties, left in December and has yet to
be replaced. -- by Vince Galloro