New CEO named at AmeriHealth unit

Paul A. Tufano (right) is succeeding Michael A. Rashid as CEO of AmeriHealth Caritas, a subsidiary of Independence Blue Cross.
Paul A. Tufano (right) is succeeding Michael A. Rashid as CEO of AmeriHealth Caritas, a subsidiary of Independence Blue Cross.
Posted: February 08, 2014

Independence Blue Cross announced CEO transition plans for its AmeriHealth Caritas subsidiary, which is one of the nation's biggest managers of Medicaid benefits.

Paul A. Tufano, a top executive at IBC, will succeed Michael A. Rashid, 66, who is retiring after nearly 20 years at AmeriHealth, including the last four as chief executive.

The change will be effective March 31.

Tufano will remain chairman of AmeriHealth's board of directors, a position he has held since 2011. He will also remain president of IBC's government markets business and chairman of IBC's executive leadership team.

Before joining IBC in 1999, Tufano, 52, was general counsel for Gov. Tom Ridge.

"Having been in state government, and specifically in Harrisburg, I at least have that experience of understanding what those public officials are going through as they manage the budgetary and public policy issues they are constantly juggling," Tufano said in an interview.

That's important because AmeriHealth Caritas' customers are state governments who hire the company to manage Medicaid benefits for the poor, said Tufano, who is also chairman of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and vice chair of Villanova University's board.

AmeriHealth Caritas, formerly known as AmeriHealth Mercy, started in 1982 as a pilot program of IBC and the Mercy Health System at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in West Philadelphia, Rashid said.

"The goal was to serve the underserved people in that neighborhood and help them not have to use the emergency rooms inappropriately the way so many people had been doing," he said.

When Rashid started at AmeriHealth in 1994, the company, which is one of IBC's for-profit subsidiaries, had just 300,000 members and operated in two states.

Now, AmeriHealth operates in 15 states plus the District of Columbia and has almost five million members. It employs 4,000, including 2,300 in the Philadelphia region.

Rashid said he was ready for a change. "I'm still very much in good health and I'm still very active, but I think it's a good time for me to move on," he said.

"There's always a need for an injection of new energy, look at things a little bit differently, and I think Paul is the best person who can bring that," he said.

Rashid will be a special adviser to IBC president and CEO Daniel J. Hilferty through the end of 2014.



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