Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN Names Former Anthem Exec Its New CEO, President
Four months after Michael Guyette left his post as CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the health insurance company has found a new leader.
Craig Samitt will assume the CEO and president roles of the Eagan-based nonprofit, and its parent company Stella, effective July 30.
Samitt moves to Blue Cross from the Indianapolis-based health insurer Anthem, where he was serving as executive vice president and chief clinical officer. At Anthem, Samitt was in charge of establishing, leading and executing the company’s clinical plans and goals.
“We're pleased to welcome Dr. Samitt, a health care industry veteran with a strong track record of delivering performance through growth, diversification, financial management, and innovation,” said Michael Robinson, chair of Stella’s Board of Trustees, in a statement. “During this time of health care transformation, we are confident that Craig possesses the experience, perspective, values and capabilities necessary to lead and grow our organization in the coming years.”
Samitt has been in the business of health care leadership and transformation for almost 25 years, working across multiple industry areas. Trained particularly as an internal medicine physician, he holds degrees – of varying levels – from Tufts University (undergraduate), Columbia University (medical) and Wharton School of Business (MBA).
He did his residency at Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston, and prior to joining Anthem, he held multiple senior executive positions at companies such as Oliver Wyman, HealthCare Partners, and Dean Health System Inc.
Additionally, Samitt is considered an expert on health care policy, is a former commissioner of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, and currently sits on the board of the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
In joining Blue Cross, he steps into the shoes filled by interim CEO Kathleen Blatz – who’ll remain with the company in her normal role on the Board of Trustees.
Some of the industry elements Samitt will now have to lead Blue Cross Blue Shield through were laid out by Samitt’s predecessor, Guyette, in a December interview with TCB. This includes monitoring for-profit activity in the individual health plan market and keeping up with the ongoing convergence of retail, pharmacy and health insurance.
“I'm honored and grateful to have the opportunity to lead an organization with such a strong commitment to delivering exceptional health care to the Minnesota community,” said Samitt in prepared remarks. “It will be a privilege to work alongside a talented team, collaborate with our provider partners, and continue the work of expanding our strategy and footprint to further our mission and set an example of all that health care can and should become in the future.”