A Conversation with Kim Keck, President & CEO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of RI
Chamber President Laurie White spoke with Kim Keck, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island about her upcoming new role with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and many other topics related to healthcare and the pandemic.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has named Keck as its new president and chief executive officer and a member of the Board of Directors, effective January 4, 2021.
The Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based, locally operated Blue Cross Blue Shield companies collectively providing health care coverage for one in three Americans. Keck will be the first woman to serve as the Association’s president and CEO since the organization’s founding four decades ago.
Keck, a respected leader in the healthcare industry, has devoted her career to addressing major challenges around the delivery, cost, and patient experience of care.
Prior to joining BCBSRI in 2016, Keck enjoyed a 28-year career at Aetna, where she built a reputation as an engaged, incisive leader, unafraid to challenge assumptions and laser-focused on results.
"I am inspired to advance the work of the 36 Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies, which represent the largest and most trusted brand in health insurance,” said Keck.
Keck says when we face the dual challenges of a public health crisis and a centuries-old crisis of systemic racism that has created significant inequities, it’s time to reimagine and realize a better future.
"I see enormous opportunity to shape and transform the state of health care in our country,” Keck said.
Around 45% of Rhode Island adults have said they are struggling mentally during this time, according to BCBSRI. BCBSRI is working with other entities within the state to broaden access to programs and care related to mental health.
Speaking about what Keck has seen during the pandemic, she says telehealth has been a tool in the toolkit that we will continue to see and use in the future.
Keck says she plans to build on the value-based approach to healthcare that was implemented in Rhode Island about 10 years ago.
Keck also notes two other areas she plans to focus on in her new role: combating the cost of healthcare and social determinates that may inhibit access to quality healthcare.
The BCBSRI board has appointed Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer & Chief Legal Officer Michele B. Lederberg as interim president and CEO of the company effective December 1, 2020.
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