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Blue Shield Engages Stakeholders

BY STEVE SHIVINSKY – This week, Blue Shield of California CEO Paul Markovich hosted the company’s first annual Stakeholder Day to provide community and industry leaders the opportunity to hear about how we view our nonprofit mission.

Markovich – along with Chief Financial Officer Mick Murray, Chief Human Resources Officer Mary O’Hara and Blue Shield of California Foundation President Peter Long – spoke about the company’s mission, strategic direction, financial performance and Foundation.

Attendees, who included key opinion leaders, policy makers and news media, were encouraged to ask questions and engaged on several topics, including Blue Shield’s dedication to access, quality and affordability and commitment to the Medi-Cal population, as well as the Foundation’s support of California’s healthcare safety net.

When asked about opportunities to use technology to improve the patient experience, Markovich said that Blue Shield is focused on bringing the health care system into the digital age. This includes improving service, providing resources to help patients understand their care options and launching America Health Insurance Plan’s single-source provider directory pilot in California.

Many wanted to know about the Care1st acquisition and how Blue Shield is thinking about the Medi-Cal population. While Care1st is currently operating as a standalone entity, Markovich explained that Blue Shield is learning from the company and will build on Care1st’s success, including potential interest in opening additional clinics to best serve the Medi-Cal population.

On the topic of Blue Shield’s nonprofit mission, an attendee acknowledged the balancing act between being a mission-driven nonprofit and needing to run a large and complex health plan business. Markovich agreed that this balance is critical to how Blue Shield does business and is something the leadership team thinks about every day.

Next week, Blue Shield will release its Mission Report that will provide more context about what was presented during the Stakeholder Day, and will help continue the discussion.

We’re on a path to make health care worthy of our family and friends by becoming the low-cost, high-quality option throughout California. A big part of making that happen means being as transparent as possible about what we do and why we do it.

Steve Shivinsky is a vice president of corporate communications at Blue Shield of California