Excellus BlueCross BlueShield CEO David Klein To Retire At End Of 2012
February 28, 2012
ROCHESTER – David Klein, the chief executive officer of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and its parent corporation for the past nine years, today announced he will retire at the end of 2012 after 40 years in the health insurance industry.
"I'm proud to have helped build, and then to have had the privilege to lead, the largest and most successful non-profit health plan in upstate New York," Klein said. "As an organization we’ve remained true to our mission of providing as many people as possible with access to quality health care at an affordable price. I’m proud to say our company continues to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve."
As the CEO of the health plan’s parent organization, The Lifetime Healthcare Companies, Klein oversees a $5.6 billion enterprise that provides health insurance coverage to more than 1.8 million people, sells long-term care coverage in 50 states, and provides direct patient services through its home care business Lifetime Home Care and Hospice and through Lifetime Health Medical Group.
The company's board of directors will announce his successor in April.
"David was instrumental in leading this corporation for more than 25 years," said Randall Clark, chairman of the board of directors. "During that time, it went from a single health plan in Rochester with revenues of less than $400 million to a $5.6 billion entity that is the largest non-profit financier of health care in upstate New York."
"As a key part of the management team that merged a series of companies to foster growth and financial stability, David helped us grow from a membership of 700,000 to 1.8 million," said John Doyle, former chairman of the board. "When he started here in 1986, our company had about 1,000 employees. Now it has about 6,600 and it is one of upstate New York’s largest employers."
Klein joined the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association in 1972 and worked for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois as a senior sales and marketing executive before moving to Rochester in 1986 to join Blue Cross and Blue Shield of the Rochester Area. That company merged with other upstate NY Blues plans in 1998 to form Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. In 2003, Klein was appointed chief executive officer of Excellus BCBS and its parent organization.
Under Klein's leadership, the corporation has enjoyed financial stability and growth. In 2007, he spearheaded a strategic investment to transform and improve the health plan's operations through business process standardization, systems conversion and administrative cost containment.
"Our goal has always been to innovate," Klein said. "We have partnered with doctors and hospitals to enhance the vitality and efficiency of the health care system. As a result, health insurance here costs significantly less than the national average and we are consistently ranked among the nation’s best health plans." According to a 2010 benefit-to-benefit PPO price comparison, the national average family premium was about 30 percent more than Excellus BCBS.
"David is nationally recognized in the health care industry as a thoughtful, innovative leader and a progressive executive," said Joseph Kurnath, MD, and chairman of the board when Klein was appointed CEO. "At every level -- whether it is local, state or federal -- he is valued as a trusted business adviser and someone who seeks collaborative solutions with physicians, hospitals and employers to community issues."
Mr. Klein's industry leadership includes serving as a director of BlueCross BlueShield Association and of America's Health Insurance Plans. He is co-chair of the AHIP policy committee. As a result, he has been extensively involved in both Washington and Albany with health care reform. He is also chair of the BlueCross BlueShield Association Not-for-Profit Leadership Council. As the head of one of upstate New York’s larger employers, Klein is the vice-chair and secretary of the Business Council of New York State and the treasurer of the Rochester Business Alliance.
As a community leader, Klein has volunteered as the chair of United Way of Greater Rochester, president of the local Boy Scout Council, chair of the American Heart Association Heart Walk and chair of an American Cancer Society capital campaign to establish the Hope Lodge in Rochester. He has also served on the boards of the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation, the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, Greater Rochester Enterprise and the former Metropolitan Development Association in Syracuse.
His awards include the Boy Scouts' Distinguished Eagle Scout, Silver Beaver and Silver Antelope, United Way of New York State’s Volunteer Leader of the Year and the American Cancer Society’s Champion of Hope.
Klein received his Bachelor of Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1970 and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago in 1972.
Klein’s interests extend to business education. He has been chair of the University of Rochester’s William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Health Sciences Advisory Board and an assistant professor in its School of Medicine and Dentistry Department of Community and Preventive Medicine. He is also past-president of the University of Chicago Health Administration Alumni Association.
Klein resides in Pittsford, NY. He has two grown sons. His wife, Linde, died in July 2011 after a long battle with cancer.
About Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit https://www.excellusbcbs.com.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 105 million members – one-in-three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.