Blue Shield of Calif. CEO Pledges Transparency, Quality Improvements
Blue Shield of California CEO Paul Markovich has pledged to improve the not-for-profit insurer's poor patient ratings and bolster transparency of executive compensation, the Los Angeles Times reports (Terhune, Los Angeles Times, 10/22).
In recent months, Blue Shield has faced significant criticism over its:
- Executive pay;
- Rate hikes; and
- $4.2 billion surplus.
In addition, advocates have criticized Blue Shield for failing to serve beneficiaries of Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program.
The state also increased its scrutiny of the insurer's recently approved $1.2 billion acquisition of Care1st Health Plan after reports in March that the Franchise Tax Board had stripped Blue Shield's tax-exempt status in August 2014 (California Healthline, 10/9).
Details of Efforts
In an interview with the Times, Markovich said that the insurer immediately agreed "when it was laid out that we need to perform better," adding that Blue Shield "should be able to perform at the highest level."
He also said that the insurer plans to disclose more information about executive pay in the future.
Currently, Blue Shield discloses the pay of the top 10 executives, but only the name of the CEO is revealed, while the other nine names are kept secret. Markovich said, "That will be changing soon."
He noted that the insurer will review "what the standard is on executive pay disclosure ... and at least meet that standard."
However, he added that certain details would remain undisclosed, citing privacy concerns (Los Angeles Times, 10/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.