Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has elected Dr. Tunde Sotunde as president and CEO, beginning June 1.
Sotunde replaces Dr. Patrick Conway, who resigned as CEO of the Blues plan in September 2019 following his arrest in an alcohol-related car accident. NC Blue Cross faced public backlash over its handling of the incident.
Sotunde, a pediatrician, currently oversees health insurer Anthem's Medicaid business, which serves about 7.3 million members across 23 states, according to a news release from Blue Cross NC. The news release credited Sotunde with driving adoption of value-based reimbursement and improving member satisfaction scores while at Anthem, which is also affiliated with the Blues.
"Dr. Sotunde has a remarkable record of leadership and accomplishment as a physician, an educator, and a business leader," Frank Holding Jr., chair of Blue Cross NC's board of trustees, said in the release. "He has worked tirelessly and collaboratively across the health system to set new standards and reshape health care for the benefit of patients, customers and communities."
Durham, N.C.-based Blue Cross NC is the state's largest insurer with 3.7 million members and $492 million in net income in 2019. The insurer has gained recognition for its efforts to pay providers for health outcomes instead of the volume of services they provide. Blue Cross NC launched its value-based payment model called Blue Premier in January 2019 and so far has signed up eight hospital systems to participate in downside risk contracts.
"I'm honored to join Blue Cross NC. This is one of the premier health plans in the country and plays a leading role in addressing critical health issues," Sotunde said in a statement. "I'll bring the perspective of a physician, a patient and health plan leader to our work alongside our employees every day to help make health care better, simpler and more affordable."