Michael Guyette Leaving CEO Post at Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Michael Guyette is leaving his post as president and CEO of Eagan-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota in March to lead another health care organization.
Guyette, 53, revealed Tuesday he would be joining Rancho Cordova, California-based VSP Global as president and CEO.
Guyette exits the nonprofit health insurer after five years: he joined BCBS in January 2013. VSP Global and its affiliated companies offer a range of vision services including eyecare coverage, lab services, electronic medical records software and ophthalmic products.
The BCBS board has started a search for a new CEO and tapped current board member Kathleen Blatz as interim CEO.
Blatz served eight terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives and served as Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court from 1998 to 2006. During 2017, Blatz served as the interim chair of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Authority, which operates U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. In the coming weeks, Guyette will work closely with Blatz on the transition.
Guyette’s initiatives while at BCBS included opening BCBS retail stores as another avenue to connect with members and provide additional services. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota currently has three retail stores in Edina, Roseville and Duluth.
Guyette has also been serving as chairman of the board for Eagan-based Prime Therapeutics, a for-profit pharmacy benefit manager that is partly owned by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. As of mid-afternoon on Tuesday, a Prime Therapeutics representative could not comment on whether or not Guyette would continue to serve on the company’s board.
In April 2017, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota reported a net operating loss of $322.4 million on revenue of $12.1 billion even as its enrollment grew from 2.75 million to 2.9 million members year-over-year. As with other insurers, BCBS’s number were stung in part by individual health plans. In its announcement the nonprofit cited “continued losses in the individual market and larger than anticipated cost pressures and utilization within the Medicaid segment.”
In December, Guyette spoke to Twin Cities Business about challenges in the current health insurance landscape. Amid a continuing wave of industry mergers, Guyette argued that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota was in a solid position for the future.
“What you’re seeing is a convergence of retail, pharmacy and health insurers coming together into one entity,” Guyette told Twin Cities Business. “I believe in this marketplace we’re sitting here with retail stores and our partnership with our PBM [pharmacy benefit manager] Prime Therapeutics, which is also Minnesota-based, [which] sets us up to compete with some of the changes that may be happening in the environment.”