Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vice President for Public Policy for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota

Vice President for Public Policy
Company Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota
Location Eagan, Minnesota
Reporting Relationship This position reports to the Senior Vice President, Public and Health Affairs



Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota — a nonprofit organization — was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota’s first health plan. For more than 75 years we’ve made a healthy difference in people’s lives. We promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. We advance public health and promote the art and science of health care.

We were the first “Blue” health plan

• Our history began in 1933, when seven St. Paul hospitals teamed up to form the “Minnesota Hospital Association,” the nation’s first prepaid health care network. An early advertisement depicts a nurse with a blue cross on her sleeve. An iconic logo is born, and we become the first-ever health plan to use the “Blue Cross” name.

• Less than a decade after we became the first Blue plan, the name and symbol are adopted by the national Blue Cross Association. “Blue Cross” goes on to become one of most recognized and trusted health care brands in the world.

We are the largest health plan in Minnesota

• Today, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is the largest health plan in Minnesota, with more members, the largest network of providers, and more products and services than any other plan in our state.

• Our 2.7 million members can be found in every Minnesota county, all 50 states and on four continents.

• Approximately one in three Minnesotans has a Blue Cross membership card.

We are a fiscally responsible, nonprofit Minnesota company.

• Blue Cross operates as a nonprofit organization – which means our resources are used to serve stakeholders, not stockholders.

• We contribute more than $250 million in salary and wages annually to the Minnesota economy.

• We employ approximately 3,700 people throughout Minnesota, with offices in Eagan, Virginia, Aurora, Duluth, Moorhead, St. Cloud, Mankato and Rochester.

• While we are structured as a nonprofit, we still pay our fair share as a responsible company through more than $100 million in taxes and assessments every year.

• Approximately 90 cents of every health care dollar collected by Blue Cross is used to pay for members’ health care costs. We have an administrative cost level of less than 10 cents of every dollar – one of the lowest levels in the country.

• The National Business Group on Health recognized Blue Cross with the 2008 Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles award.

• Our service center handles more than 3.4 million calls every year with high satisfaction rates.


The Vice President for Public Policy will advance the company’s business goals by developing, influencing, and interpreting health policy and by doing so position Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota (BCBSM) as a thought leader on health policy issues.

The Vice President for Public Policy will interface with federal, state, policy, and regulatory leaders, as well as business experts and corporate function counterparts, to drive strategic, informed, pragmatic positioning on high priority and high visibility issues. S/He will develop and implement analytically sound, strategic and proactive public policy positions on healthcare issues, including but not limited to Medicare, Medicaid, health IT, clinical/network/pharmacy, commercial insurance, healthcare reform, access and quality issues impacting BCBSM.

The Vice President for Public Policy will be responsible for tracking, identifying and analyzing policy and regulatory issues that represent potential concerns and opportunities for the company’s businesses. Additionally, the successful candidate should view public policy as a strategic vehicle for furthering the business interest of the company.

The Vice President for Public Policy will be perceived as a force in public policy circles in Washington and in Minnesota. S/He will formulate and communicate the public policy direction of BCBSM at the highest levels of business and government and will provide thought leadership in key policy areas that are aligned with the company’s goals and priorities.

The responsibilities of the Vice President for Public Policy also include:

• Leads the development of and participates in rulemaking at state and national levels, including the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Association of Health Insurance Plans, National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and other organizations that have influence over public policy initiatives.

• Works with the Vice President of Legislative Affairs to develop and carry out plans and strategies, working strategically with industry, business, trade associations, consumer organizations, and others at the state and federal levels.

• Communicates policy positions externally as well as to employees and departments within Blue Cross.

• Works in coordination with the business to ensure that BCBSM has an understanding of the strategic implications of federal health care reform and policy positions.

• Directs, manages, and leads a team of professionals, including outside contractors and consultants responsible for developing relationships with key stakeholders in state and federal policy arenas.

• Directs the department including interviewing and hiring employees following required EEO and Affirmative Action guidelines and ensuring employees receive the proper training. Conducts performance evaluation, and is responsible for managing employees, including skill and career development, policy administration, coaching on performance management and behavior, employee relations and cost control.


The successful candidate will have a minimum of 10 years of policy experience in the healthcare field. S/He should have a strong and successful record of being a leader in policy setting environments such as on a relevant committee on Capitol Hill (i.e. Senate Finance or House Ways & Means), in an Administration and/or in a relevant Agency (i.e. HHS, CMS or OMB) or in-house with a corporation or healthcare focused trade association.

The Vice President for Public Policy will have:

• Proven ability to manage a team of professionals and lead a departmental function, specifically public policy. Excellent interpersonal and teambuilding skills. Proven experience coordinating a multi-faceted agenda of issues.

• Superior oral and written communication skills, outstanding managerial and leadership skills with the ability to motivate and persuade others.

• Ability to persuasively communicate complex concepts and programs at the highest levels of government and business.

• Ability to develop and maintain strong internal and external relationships while enhancing the company’s policy, image and legislative positions.

• A deep understanding of how policy is developed at the federal and state levels of government. A working knowledge of federal and state regulatory and legislative processes.

• Executive presence, dynamic professional style and the ability to inspire confidence in senior management and those outside the company.

• Intellectual curiosity and ability to gather, assess and synthesize information from various sources.

• Demonstrated interest in health policy.

• The ability to manage and work on multiple tasks and prepare graphics and data presentations in a fast paced environment.

• The ability to use complex information to impact public policy by evaluating trends that may impact the company.

• High ethical standards and share Blue Cross’ values: respect, accountability, imagination and courage.


Making Complex Decisions

• Can solve even the toughest and most complex of problems; great at gleaning meaning from whatever data is available; is a quick study of the new and different; adds personal wisdom and experience to come to the best conclusion and solution, given the situation; uses multiple problem-solving tools and techniques.

Creating the New and Different

• Is able to come up with the next great breakthrough thing to do; is creative, a visionary, and can manage innovation; is an effective strategist full of ideas and possibilities; sees multiple futures; has broad interests and knowledge; can both create and bring exciting ideas to market; comfortable speculating about alternative futures without all of the data.

Keeping on Point

• Can quickly separate the mission-critical from the nice to dos and the trivials; quickly senses what's the next most useful thing to work on; focuses on the critical few tasks that really add value and puts aside or delays the rest.

Focusing on Action and Outcomes

• Attacks everything with drive and energy with an eye on the bottom line; not afraid to initiate action before all the facts are known; drives to finish everything he/she starts.

Being Organizationally Savvy

• Maneuvers well to get things done; maze bright; knows where to go to get what he/she needs; politically aware and agile; knows what the right thing to do is; presents views and arguments well.

Communicating Effectively

• Writes and presents effectively; adjusts to fit the audience and the message; strongly gets a message across.

Relating Skills

• Warm, friendly, and interpersonally agile; easy to approach and talk to; relates well to all kinds of people; makes a pleasant first impression and builds solid relationships.


Bachelor’s degree is required. A Masters degree in Health Policy or a Law degree is strongly preferred.


A highly competitive salary, plus annual and long-term bonuses, is supplemented with an excellent employee benefits program.


Nels Olson
Managing Director, Eastern Region
Global Government Affairs Practice Leader

Beth Fowler
Senior Client Partner
Government Affairs Practice

Conrad Woody
Government Affairs Practice

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