Dr. Patrick Conway will become CEO of Portland, Ore.-based company Cambia Health Solutions in addition to maintaining his current role as CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the companies announced Tuesday.
The move is part of a so-called strategic affiliation between the two not-for-profit companies, in which they will share management, administrative, operational and other corporate services under a long-term services management agreement under the Cambia name. The companies said their goal is to improve quality and lower costs while creating a better experience for customers. A Blue Cross spokesman said sharing resources and expertise will allow the companies to move faster to drive change for their customers.
Cambia CEO Mark Ganz will become executive chairman of Cambia's board of directors, which will be made up of 10 members from Blue Cross's current board of trustees and nine members from Cambia's current board. Blue Cross will retain its own separate board of trustees, and each company will keep their separate corporate structures and existing names. They will also maintain separate assets, capital and revenues.
"We have to do something different to make healthcare better, simpler, and more affordable for the people we serve," Conway said in the announcement. "By sharing resources, innovations, and best-in-class services we can fundamentally transform the way individuals and families experience the healthcare system."
Cambia is the parent company of six health plans in four states, as well technology companies and a venture capital firm. It covers 2.6 million members in its regional health plans in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah, while Blue Cross services more than 3.7 million members.
Cambia and Blue Cross have a history. The two combined their venture capital arms in 2016 to launch investment company Echo Health Ventures to fund early-stage healthcare companies. The affilliation, which is subject to regulatory approval in all five states, takes the relationship to the next level.
"People and their families are hurting every day in the current health care system, longing for care focused on their needs," said Ganz, who in addition to his role on the board, will oversee corporate development, Echo Health Ventures and Cambia's consumer platform. "Together, we have the power to accelerate transformation, be a model for what is possible, and positively impact the lives of those we serve."