We exist to guide our clients by identifying key options and solutions in order for our clients to confidently navigate and influence public and governmental healthcare policies and policymakers, while mitigating any risk of policy adoption delays.
We analyze the political and regulatory environment in which our clients operate.
We develop unique strategies for creating “policy windows,” offering solutions for policy issues affecting our clients.
We provide political and regulatory education to clients on legislative session timelines, rules and procedures, and bill tracking for policy issues affecting our clients.
We create advocacy plans to generate awareness and discussion among policymakers and other stakeholders.
We coordinate and provide direct engagement with policymakers, advocacy groups, physician groups, media, and other groups on behalf of our clients. We also provide access to policymakers through a unique network of lobbying firms across the United States.
The Garner Group was founded in 2020. Michael Garner and George Kitchens, CEO of Artia Solutions, long-time friends and professional partners, came together to bring a combination of their healthcare policy experience, clinical expertise, and advocacy strategies to provide clients with a unique resource for their government relations needs. With over 100 years of collective experience among the partners, the team has worked as advocates and analysts on health, environmental, and educational policy issues in both the private and public sectors.
Chief Executive Officer
Michael has worked as an advocate and analyst on health, environmental, and educational policy issues for both the private and public sectors since 1992.
Previous to starting The Garner Group, Michael retired as the Senior Director of Government Relations for Anthem Inc. and its affiliates in Florida. In this role, he was the lead lobbyist responsible for advocating legislative and regulatory policies on a wide range of issues affecting health care coverage, professional and facility regulation, prescription drug pricing and distribution, and health information collection and access for consumers. Michael was also heavily involved in health plan operations, mergers and acquisitions, and participated in developing successful responses to multi-billion-dollar invitations to negotiate/requests for proposals to provide health coverage in Medicaid, Medicare, and Children Health Insurance Programs.
Prior to Anthem, Michael served for many years as the President and CEO of the Florida Association of Health Plans (FAHP), the state trade association for health plans in Florida. He was the industry’s primary advocate, lobbyist, and spokesperson, representing almost 20 health plans serving every health care market in the state, including Commercial, Medicaid, Medicare, Children’s Health Insurance, and the Federal Employee Health Plan.
Michael was recruited to run the Association after a distinguished career in the Florida Legislature, included working in the Legislature’s program and policy evaluation office, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Health Care, and the Senate’s Health, Aging, and Long-Term Care Committee. Michael worked on a wide range of policy issues while with the Legislature including commercial health insurance reform, Florida’s CHIP Program, Medicaid, healthcare fraud and abuse prevention and detection, environmental assessment methodologies, and administrative structures in school districts in Florida. He also served as the lead professional staff on the Senate Select Committee on Medicaid Reform transforming the state’s Medicaid program from a fee-for-service to mandatory managed care program.
Michael has worked for the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville establishing a Medicare outpatient reimbursement system; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSFL) as a Senior Policy Analyst and advocate focusing on state and federal health policies including health coverage mandates, mental health parity, civil remedy for HMO liability, and the implementation of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996; and started his career in a nonprofit health planning council conducting community healthcare needs assessments and implementing community programs providing prenatal screening and perinatal services for pregnant women and infants.
Dr. Garner received his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate from the University of Florida in Political Science/Public Affairs with specialties in health and environmental policy. He researched the effects of persistent impoverishment on health status in rural counties throughout the country, examined the effects of maternal and child health programs on reducing low weight births and infant mortality, and worked on establishing and operating community recycling programs.