Centene taps former Humana exec as new chief operating officer

Centene COO Susan Smith
Susan Smith (Centene)

Government insurance giant Centene has appointed a new chief operating officer.

Susan Smith, who has worked at the company since June, will take the role Jan. 1, according to an announcement. She will spearhead Centene's core business operations, population health work, provider experience, enterprise transformation office and quality.

Smith will report to Centene President Ken Fasola, the insurer said.

"Susan is a seasoned operator who brings extensive experience in the government-sponsored payer space," said Centene CEO Sarah London in the release. "Her operational expertise in quality and customer experience, proven track record and leadership during transformational times—coupled with her steadfast commitment to the members and communities we support—make her the right candidate for this role."

Smith comes to the COO position with close to two decades of health insurance industry experience following 19 years at Humana. Most recently, Smith served as the Medicare Advantage plan's senior vice president of clinical, quality and expertise solutions.

Smith has also held the titles of senior vice president of clinical solutions and senior vice president of Medicare at Humana, according to the announcement. During her tenure at the company, she played a key role in improving Humana's star ratings performance and customer experience.