Lawyer Takes New Role as Chief of TennCare’s Long Term Services and Supports

/ December 6, 2022

By Katie Moss

Editor’s note: Katie Moss was recently appointed by TennCare Director Stephen Smith as the new chief of Long Term Services and Supports for the Division of TennCare. Learn more about Katie’s background and plans for TennCare in this Q&A interview.

Q. Tell us a bit about your career background and your current role at TennCare.

A. I am honored to have been recently appointed by TennCare Director Stephen Smith as the new chief of Long Term Services and Supports for the Division of TennCare; a role I never dreamed I would have. When I started college, I planned to become a geriatric doctor who made house calls. After a semester of organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics, I decided that was not the right path for me. I changed to social work and started an incredible internship at Legal Aid in Knoxville. Then I decided to apply for law school. I went to the University of Tennessee College of Law so I could graduate and work at Legal Aid. I moved to Nashville for a position at Legal Aid Society and worked there for about seven years. My work focused on issues related to health and benefits, such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security benefits, and benefits like food stamps (now called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) and Families First, state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (or TANF) program. During my time at Legal Aid Society, I worked on several cases related to long-term care and TennCare in federal court as well as the Tennessee Court of Appeals. Although the work was fulfilling, it became clear to me that litigation was not going to result in real change. In 2015, I had the opportunity to join the TennCare Office of General Counsel. I was fortunate there to gain a much deeper understanding of the TennCare program. Patti Killingsworth asked me to join the LTSS office in 2021 as her deputy. That was probably more shocking to me than it was to anyone else. I am so thankful for her support, encouragement, and confidence in me to follow in her footsteps.

Q. What is one thing you’re working on right now that you are excited about?

A. There are SO many exciting things we are working on right now at TennCare (not just in Long Term Services and Supports) It’s hard to pick just one!:

  • Expanding dental benefits to all adults.
  • Moving to a new software system (called PERLSS) for all LTSS. This will eventually end the need for all other systems for LTSS medical decisions. It will be the single source for processing LTSS medical eligibility and appeals. Having a single system that links to the financial eligibility system (called TEDS) will make it easier for our members to go through the process for eligibility or to file an appeal.
  • Bringing together the 1915(c) waivers (the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities waivers) and the Employment and Community First CHOICES program. This will make offering these programs easier for providers because they’ll have only one process to go through to be approved instead of separate processes for each program. It will also be easier to run the programs because they’ll be managed through the same system.
  • Working on all of the new programs funded through the American Rescue Plan Act funding. This includes a workforce development program that will help Medicaid waiver providers hire and keep good employees.
  • Partnering with sister agencies, organizations, and other groups to build relationships and improve the experience for the people we support.

From the perspective of impact for real people, I think Enabling Technology has the greatest potential to be a game changer. Not only can Enabling Technology help people be more independent than they may have believed was possible, it also could help with the workforce crisis. We have several providers who have been accredited as Tech First organizations that are doing amazing things.

Q. What is one of the biggest things you have learned from working with Tennesseans with developmental disabilities and their families?

A. I have learned that they are incredible and passionate advocates. That is saying something coming from a lawyer who considers herself a tenacious advocate!

Q. What are some activities you enjoy doing in your free time?

A. I love spending time with friends and family, trying to garden (usually unsuccessfully, but if anyone needs some mint, I think it’s about to overtake my yard), hosting play dates for the kids or reading a good book (not of substance … think mystery writer Janet Evanovich) in my hammock. Pre-COVID, I hosted parties: Halloween parties with a chili contest or Christmas cookie-decorating parties for kids. I can’t wait to get back to that at some point.

Q. When should members of the disability community reach out to you or your team directly?

A. I love hearing from families, individuals, and providers! I welcome emails with questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions any time! Feedback is what allows us to improve and better serve individuals. Feel free to email me at, but my staff are the subject matter experts in their programs, so working with them directly is usually the better option. Contact information can be found here:

Additional information about the Long Term Services and Supports Division can be found at

(This interview was originally published in the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities monthly e-news in September 2022. To subscribe to those emails, click here.)


I have just recently met Katie, and I look forward to working with her. If you have questions or concerns, please contact me at

Katie Moss was recently appointed by TennCare Director Stephen Smith as the new chief of Long Term Services and Supports for the Division of TennCare.

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