L.A. Care CEO on Leave Over Conflict of Interest Concerns
Anthony Rodgers, CEO of L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest public managed care program in the country, was placed on leave last week because of a "conflict of interest" concern arising from his recent marriage to a Blue Cross staff member, the Los Angeles Times reports. L.A. Care officials said the decision was made because Rodgers failed to "properly notify" the board of directors about his marriage. Blue Cross is one of the health plans that participates in L.A. Care, which oversees managed care plans that serve 653,000 Medi-Cal beneficiaries in Los Angeles County. Officials said that because L.A. Care is a "quasi-public entity," ranking executives must disclose conflicts of interest. Although Rodgers said he "made no secret" of the marriage, he may be forced to leave the program, which he has led since its creation in 1995. Rodgers said that his wife, Deborah, is a staffer at Blue Cross but does not hold a "policy setting position." Rodgers added, "I was surprised that with my track record that they would not consider ... other options." The board of directors may determine what action, if any, will be taken against Rodgers at a meeting on Feb. 15 (Los Angeles Times, 2/6).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.