Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Another Multi-Million Dollar Managed Care CEO to Retire

It seems that whenever the CEO of a large health care organization is about to step down, the news media opens a tiny, but revealing window into how such organizations work.
The Boston Globe reports on the impending retirement of Blue Cross of Massachusetts CEO William C. Van Faasen. The interesting parts are that Van Faasen's qualifications to be CEO were an MBA degree from Michigan State. His "hand-picked" successor, Cleve L. Killingsworth, at least has a MPH from Yale. It is not clear, however, whether he ever directly worked in health care. His previous position was CEO of the Health Alliance Plan in Detroit.
The article also revealed Van Faasen's current compensation, most recently a cool $2.4 million a year, "making him by far the highest paid chief executive of any of the state's major health insurers." (Recall that the CEO of Harvard Pilgrim only makes a paltry $1 million a year, as we mentioned earlier.)
It's funny that with all the concerns about the rising costs of health care, few question whether managed care CEOs with little health care background and million dollar plus salaries are the best qualified people to figure out how to control health care costs without further impacting quality and access.

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