David W. Anderson named HealthNow CEOby jmaloni
Piloted UnitedHealthcare of Southern California to major performance improvements
The board of directors of HealthNow New York Inc. today announced its selection of David W. Anderson as the new president and CEO of the multi-faceted health care organization that includes the Western New York region's largest health insurer, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.
Anderson, 59, spent the past seven years as CEO of UnitedHealthcare's Southern California Health Plan, based in Cypress. He was unanimously selected for the HealthNow leadership position after a five-month search and hiring process. He officially starts July 31.
"I am honored to lead a BlueCross BlueShield organization, and especially one with such a leading market share and outstanding track record for superior service to community, members, and business partners," Anderson said. "HealthNow's expanding footprint and our market strength in Western New York gives us stability and resources for the coming health care changes."
In 2008, Anderson inherited a plan with membership losses and reduced financial performance. From 2010-12, internal operating income rose 43 percent and membership was stabilized. The financial turnaround was accomplished by Anderson and his team while raising employee engagement scores from a companywide UHC low of 56 percent to a company-leading 84 percent.
His UHC division had 868,000 commercial members, health care cost responsibility for 340,000 Medicare Advantage members, 2,700 employees, and approximately $3 billion in annual revenues - similar to HealthNow's numbers.
Anderson is a long-time health care industry executive, having started as a broker in 1980 after graduating from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business with a B.S. in finance. He's been an entrepreneur, an executive in many facets of the health insurance industry, and is well-versed in competitive and highly regulated health care markets.
Thomas J. Hook, chairman of the HealthNow board of directors, said the five-month search that resulted in Anderson's selection, involved hundreds of applicants and recruits, including internal candidates, and that Anderson emerged from a diverse group of finalists.
"Our board set out to find the best-possible CEO for HealthNow and we're certain we did," Hook said. "David will impress our markets with his health care experience, the communities we serve with his Midwest values and work ethic, and our members with how we will all manage the change that's coming in American health care."
HealthNow New York had estimated annual revenue in 2012 of $2.5 billion and serves more than 800,000 members. HealthNow is a BlueCross BlueShield Association licensee in Western New York and in New York's Capital District, as BlueShield of Northeastern New York. The company operates HealthNow Administrative Services in Pennsylvania and California.
The HealthNow board established a CEO transition committee comprised of company executives and board members, and retained Russell Reynolds Associates of Manhattan, which has specific health care sector experience, to identify Alphonso O'Neil-White's successor.
O'Neil-White, who served as CEO of HealthNow for 10 years and spent 16 years at the company, announced Feb. 25 his transition plan to retirement. He will officially retire July 303. O'Neil-White held the CEO position longer than any modern CEO in the 76-year history of the health insurer.