Blue Cross Hires UnitedHealth Exec To Oversee New Health IT Business
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota hired Tom Vanderheyden, a former executive at UnitedHealth Group, to be its president of diversified business.
Vanderheyden will help lead the Eagan-based health insurer’s new healthcare solutions brand Stella that was announced last October.
Blue Cross CEO Michael Guyette touted the new venture as a means to forge relationships with healthcare innovators and create new technologies and business within the company. “Stella is a critical driver of our long-term innovation and diversification strategy to transform our business into a health solutions company,” he said at the time of Stella’s launch.
Vanderheyden entered Blue Cross with more than 20 years of business development work within the healthcare field. In 2010, he became Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group’s vice president of business development. During his four years in the position, he managed the speed-to-market capabilities of the company’s $40 billion commercial business.
Four years later, he co-founded Harken Health and became its CEO. Under UnitedHealth’s wing, the experimental health care company was designed for self-employed individuals and offered $0 co-pays with unlimited visits to company-owned health centers in Chicago and Atlanta. Vanderheyden headed Harken Health for two years before being “transitioned out of his role” after posting nearly $70 million in operating losses through the first half of 2016, the Star Tribune reported.
“Tom’s record of accelerating business growth and identifying new ways to deliver health care made him the right leader to complement and supplement the health plan products that we have been offering to Minnesotans for more than 80 years,” Guyette said in a statement. “With business diversification being a significant focus of our strategic plan, I know that Tom and his teams are well-positioned to help us deliver even greater value to members and clients.”