Duke economist Mark McClellan to join Cigna's board following Express Scripts acquisition

Cigna said Duke economist Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., would join the board of directors once the Express Scripts merger is finalized. (Pixabay)

Cigna added Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., an economist with deep public policy roots, to its board of directors once the Express Scripts acquisition is finalized.

The insurer carved out an additional board seat for McClellan, currently the director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, according to an amendment to the merger agreement with Express Scripts.  

“Mark’s combination of healthcare industry and economic expertise will strongly support Cigna’s efforts to drive health care affordability and quality, as we continue to innovate and deliver differentiated value for our customers, clients and communities—in alignment with health care providers,” Cigna CEO David Cordani said in a statement.

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McClellan led the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) under the Bush administration from 2004 to 2006 before joining the Brookings Institution as the Director of the Health Care Innovation and Value Initiative at the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform. He also served as the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration from 2002 to 2004.

RELATED: 5 interesting plot twists in the Cigna-Express Scripts deal

His board appointment is effective Dec. 1, 2018, unless Cigna closes its $67 billion deal with Express Scripts sooner. The Department of Justice has indicated it is closely evaluating the merger, which some experts believe could be the start of a new architecture in healthcare driven by vertical mergers.

McClellan has been a proponent of value-based care and alternative payment models. In a recent op-ed in JAMA, McClellan and his co-authors outlined an updated framework for alternative payment models, emphasizing protections for both providers and patients.

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