AHIP turns attention to finding CEO to replace Karen Ignagni

Now that America's Health Insurance Plans' 2015 AHIP Institute has come and gone, the industry's lobbying group has turned its attention to its next major task--replacing longtime President and CEO Karen Ignagni (pictured right).

The resignation of Ignagni, who leaves AHIP to become president and CEO of nonprofit New York insurer EmblemHealth effective Sept. 1, comes at a critical time for the health insurance industry, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. The forthcoming King v. Burwell verdict could pose a significant challenge to the industry, as will reference pricing, bundled payments, price transparency and other myriad efforts to meet the Affordable Care Act's pay for performance goals.

That's why AHIP is searching for a CEO who "can help galvanize a vision for the industry and how we want Americans to understand our industry," Mark Ganz, AHIP chairman and CEO of Cambia Health Solutions, told Healthcare Payer News.

Ignagni's departure is, in her own words, "bittersweet." She has represented the health insurance industry since 1993, first as the head of the American Association of Health Plans and then, when that organization merged with the Health Insurance Association of America in 2003, as the head of the newly formed AHIP.

At the same time, Ganz told Healthcare Payer News, the hunt for a new CEO gives the organization the "opportunity to find someone who can help take the industry to where it needs to be 10-15 years from now." Specifically, Ganz said the organization needs a leader who can guide the insurance industry in its transition to a model of consumer-driven health, paying particular attention to what consumers need through each step of the care process.

AHIP named Dan Durham, the group's executive vice president for strategic initiatives, as its interim CEO. However, the statement announcing Ignagni's departure noted that the AHIP Board of Directors would "immediately" begin the search for her successor.

For more:
- read the Healthcare Payer News article
- here's the AHIP statement

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