Blue Cross NC taps CMS’ chief medical officer Conway as new president

Dr. Patrick Conway, the CMS’ chief medical officer, is headed to work for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina as its president and CEO, starting Oct. 1.

The insurer’s current president and CEO Brad Wilson, who is retiring, will remain in his role “for an appropriate period to ensure an effective transition,” the company said Tuesday.

“Blue Cross NC’s role in transforming the healthcare system in North Carolina is a model that other plans aspire to and that I want to work with the Blue Cross NC team to further improve,” Conway said in a statement.

Conway, a pediatrician, joined the CMS in 2011. He also currently serves as the agency’s deputy administrator for innovation and quality and its director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

At the CMS, he is responsible for overseeing quality of care and innovation for the Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program programs, and the federal insurance marketplace. He is also charged with testing new value-based payment and service delivery models, such as accountable care organizations, bundled payments and primary care medical homes.

“Dr. Conway is a national and international leader in health system transformation, quality and innovation,” Frank Holding Jr., Blue Cross NC’s board chair, said in a statement. “His unique experiences as a healthcare provider and as a leader of the world’s largest healthcare payor will help Blue Cross NC fulfill its mission to improve the health and well-being of our customers and communities.”

Wilson announced in February that he would retire this year. Wilson, who began working for the health plan in 1996, has served as president and CEO since 2010.

“At this important time in healthcare and health insurance transformation, Dr. Conway brings a unique background and perspective to our company and state,” Wilson said in a statement.


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