Healthcare Business News
David Holmberg, Highmark Health

Holmberg named CEO of Highmark, replaces Winkenwerder

By Beth Kutscher
Posted: May 21, 2014 - 4:15 pm ET

Highmark Health named David Holmberg its new president and CEO, replacing Dr. William Winkenwerder, who helped orchestrate the deal that transformed the insurer into an integrated delivery network.

Winkenwerder joined the company in June 2012 when it was already in the midst of a contentious campaign to acquire West Penn Allegheny Health System. Under his tenure, Highmark was able to bring the deal across the finish line to create one of the country's largest integrated delivery systems.

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Yet the company still faces challenges, including turning around the operations at West Penn Allegheny. Although its situation is stabilizing, the system reported an operating loss of $15.6 million on revenue of $803.5 million between July and December 2013.

In addition, Highmark is engaged in a dispute with West Penn Allegheny's primary competitor, UPMC, which is refusing to renew its Highmark Health Plan contract when it expires at the end of the year.

Highmark Health is the parent company for not only its insurance division and Allegheny Health Network, but also its Diversified Businesses group, which includes United Concordia, a dental insurance carrier; HM Insurance Group, a stop loss insurance provider; and HVHC, the unit that includes its Visionworks optical retail stores and Davis Vision managed-care plan.

Holmberg, 55, takes over the top post effective immediately. He joined the company in 2007 and has been president of Highmark's Diversified Businesses since July. Before that, he served as CEO of HVHC as well as chairman and CEO of Visionworks.

Winkenwerder is a 2014 nominee for Modern Healthcare's 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.

Follow Beth Kutscher on Twitter: @MHbkutscher

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