Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island named James Purcell its permanent president and chief executive officer. Purcell had been acting CEO since May, when Ronald Battista resigned amid mounting scrutiny of executive perks and other financial practices at the not-for-profit health insurer. Previously, Purcell was chief operating officer. The company said that since taking charge, Purcell had worked to improve relations with providers and state officials and instituted a new corporate code of conduct and ethics. Still, Purcell faces an ongoing legal battle over an insurance contract for state workers. The state had awarded the new contract to UnitedHealth Group, but the Blues, which holds the current contract, sued, claiming the bidding process was flawed. A judge agreed, and the state appealed the decision. A state Supreme Court judge is expected to hear arguments in the matter next month. -- by Laura B. Benko
Last CEO lost to controversy, R.I. Blues names new chief
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