CEO Dan Loepp: Much Work Remains to Truly Reform Health Care

Daniel J. Loepp

| 3 min read

Daniel J. Loepp is President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Mr. Loepp has directed sweeping initiatives and innovations that have led to a historic transformation of BCBSM and health care in Michigan. He played a major role in modernizing the state’s health care delivery system in a process that led to enactment of new laws that transformed BCBSM to become a nonprofit mutual insurance company in January 2014. Mr. Loepp has led BCBSM initiatives to improve health care quality and slow cost increases, saving nearly $1.5 billion through several programs that have garnered national attention and served as models implemented across the country. Under his leadership, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is helping to revitalize and strengthen Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing. In 2011 and 2012, Blue Cross moved 3,000 BCBSM employees into downtown Detroit and the company is one of the largest employers in the city’s Central Business District. In Lansing, BCBSM subsidiary AF Group transformed a long abandoned power plant into a national headquarters. Mr. Loepp has stood by a commitment that BCBSM should be a driving force for good in Michigan’s core cities. It is reflected in BCBSM’s workforce diversity and inclusion efforts, supplier partnerships and community initiatives. In his tenure, BCBSM has been named Corporation of the Year in Finance and Insurance Services nine times by the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council. The company has also been named one of America’s Top Organizations for Multi-Cultural Business Opportunities by DiversityBusiness.com and ranked five consecutive years as one of the top 10 Regional Companies for diversity by DiversityInc magazine, including being ranked No. 1 for consecutive years in 2015 and 2016. Mr. Loepp was honored as a 2016 recipient of the Edward N. McNamara Goodfellow of the Year Award. He was selected as Michiganian of the Year by The Detroit News in 2013. Mr. Loepp joined Blue Cross in 2000. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, he served as board chair of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), an organization that includes all 36 Blue Cross plans and provides health coverage to more than 106 million Americans.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the use of financial subsidies to offset the cost of health insurance for individuals and families, preserving a key cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act. While we’re happy that millions of Americans will retain access to affordable health insurance, there is still much more work to be done to truly reform health care. Health care costs are unsustainable, straining household budgets and the greater economy. For every dollar Americans spend, 16 cents goes to health care, up from seven cents in 1970. The U.S. has the most expensive health care system in the world, yet it scores worst among industrialized countries when it comes to health outcomes, quality and efficiency. As a more than $3 trillion chunk of the U.S. economy, there’s no one secret to reforming the health care system. It certainly can’t be written into any one law, and it can’t be accomplished by any one stakeholder group working on its own. It's in our collective best interest to make sure people are as healthy as they can be, that they have the right care available at the right time and in the right setting, and that the care is of the highest quality possible. These should be considered foundational elements of managing the cost of care. At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, we’re working hard to build partnerships that address the root causes of high health care costs to keep coverage as affordable as possible. In the last 10 years, we’ve led efforts with thousands of physicians, hospitals of all sizes, and other care providers, to reinvent Michigan health care. The result has been a more efficient, high quality, less costly health care system. We’ve enlisted the help of providers to build new payment models that incentivize quality of care over quantity, models that have been adopted by more than half of all hospitals and nearly two-thirds of all physicians in Michigan. We’ve launched quality-improvement initiatives with hospitals across Michigan focusing on more than 20 common and high-cost surgical and medical disciplines. At more than 4,300 designated physicians at 1,500 clinics, our Patient-Centered Medical Home Program is the nation’s largest of its kind, giving millions of Michiganders access to enhanced primary care. And we partner with other organizations to provide health care access to uninsured patients, combat childhood obesity and promote public health. But we are only one small piece of a massive, complicated health care industry. We are all in this together — government, businesses, insurers, hospitals, providers and patients. The sooner we put side our differences and work together toward our shared goals, the faster we will realize true health reform. Daniel J. Loepp is president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Flickr photo by Phalinn Ooi

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