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Blue Shield CEO Paul Markovich Calls for Less Finger Pointing and More Collaboration to Drive Healthcare Reform, Reduce Costs

Markovich reflects on California’s new Office of Health Care Affordability at Sacramento Press Club event.

Healthcare costs in America continue to escalate, outstripping wage growth and harming consumers and taxpayers alike. California is in a unique position to tackle this thorny issue with the state’s new Office of Health Care Affordability, according to a panel of industry leaders who spoke at the Sacramento Press Club last week.

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Paul Markovich

The panel, “Reining in California’s Rising Health Care Costs,” featured California Department of Health Care Access and Information Director Elizabeth Landsberg, Health Access Executive Director Anthony Wright, Purchaser Business Group on Health President and CEO Elizabeth Mitchell, and Blue Shield of California President and CEO Paul Markovich.

Speaking to an audience of the Capitol press corps, policy makers, and government affairs professionals, the panelists noted it will not be easy, but the state’s effort is needed to make health care more affordable.

Markovich kicked off his remarks by affirming Blue Shield of California’s commitment to support the Office of Health Care Affordability, including setting specific goals to slow the fast-growing costs of health care.

“At Blue Shield, our mission is to create a healthcare system that’s worthy of our family and friends, and sustainably affordable for everyone,” he said. “Everything we do, including policy advocacy, comes down to: does it further that mission? That’s why we’ve been very vocal advocates of this effort.”

He added that the Office’s goals complement Blue Shield’s vision of developing a much more efficient, digital healthcare system that eliminates the many administrative tasks that are woefully inefficient, highly manual, and difficult for consumers to navigate. This includes reducing administrative tasks for providers to create a much more sustainable, cost-effective approach to how care is provided.

“We need to put pressure on the system to be more accountable and to start doing business in another way,” Markovich said. “There’s too much explaining and finger-pointing. We need to collectively step up our game.”