How Minn. Blues is turning itself around

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota's CEO is transforming the insurer, with a close eye on the consumer.

Michael Guyette took the helm in January 2013 and implemented consumer focus as a strategic pillar for the insurer's success, the Star Tribune reported. That has led to a "war room" in which Minnesota Blues' staff and healthcare providers look for ways to remove barriers to care, such as inadequate transportation.

"We are trying to move faster. We are piloting more. We are partnering more. We think--we know--that will help us transform healthcare going forward," Guyette told the newspaper.

Drawing on its consumer focus, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota partnered with Allina Health, one of the state's largest provider systems, to create a new health plan based on interviews with patients and employers about which aspects they don't like in their current coverage.

The insurer also is working with Southern Prairie Community Care to identify and close gaps in care coordination for Medicaid beneficiaries, according to the Star Tribune.

Guyette already has started to turn the company around, in only 15 months on the job.

"I am pleased to report that operating results for 2013 out-performed 2012, indicating a strong trend towards greater stability," the chief executive said last week in a statement. Guyette cited healthcare reform readiness and clarity with enabling the insurer to provide high-quality, low-cost care.

As Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota can attest, enhancing provider relationships is among several ways insures can survive the shift to a consumer-focused business. Today's members also expect personalized communications, multichannel interactions and efficient tools from insurance companies, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

For more:
- read the Star Tribune article
- here's the Blue Cross statement