; Kari Hedges, Vice President, National Programs
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Kari Hedges
Vice President, National Programs

Kari Hedges is vice president of national programs at the BlueCross BlueShield Association (BCBSA), a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. The Blue System is the nation's largest health insurer covering more than 105 million – one-in-three of all Americans. It is the largest single processor of Medicare claims in the nation, and holds the world's largest privately underwritten health insurance contract – the 5.2 million-member Federal Employee Program.

In leading the Association’s National Programs, Hedges is responsible for the BlueCard program, Blue Distinction, the Blue National Doctor and Hospital Finder and national employer services. The BlueCard program serves national employers with employees in multiple locations and individual travelers domestically and internationally, facilitating more than 250 million claim transactions and more than 600 million eligibility, claim status and referral requests annually. Blue Distinction is raising the quality of care being delivered across the country by recognizing facilities that meet objective, evidence-based thresholds for clinical quality and cost efficiency measures developed in collaboration with expert clinicians and leading professional organizations. Hedges is accountable for ensuring overall success of these programs, proving strategic leadership and directions of program development and ongoing operations, financial performance and customer service.

Hedges joined the Association in 1996, concentrating primarily on Blue national inter-Plan business. Her focus is on national solutions to meet the needs of Blue customers, including consumers, employers and physicians, that involve coordination among the independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

Hedges earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.