Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Announces Restructuring

(Providence, RI, 11.8.2011)
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As part of its ongoing commitment to help moderate the cost of healthcare, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) today announced a new, streamlined organizational structure designed to increase efficiency, reduce administrative expenses and better position the company to make healthcare more affordable through local delivery system transformation.

"BCBSRI has an obligation to our members to ensure that we are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible," said Laura Calenda, BCBSRI spokesperson. "Although we successfully reduced our operating expenses by $35 million over the last two years, we needed to do more. Under the leadership of our new President and Chief Executive Officer, Peter Andruszkiewicz, we spent the last several months conducting a thorough assessment of our organization with the goal of reducing administrative costs next year to less than 15 percent of every premium dollar."

According to Calenda, BCBSRI identified a number of opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce overhead costs by streamlining the company's management structure, consolidating departments and eliminating redundancies.

As part of the restructuring, BCBSRI made the difficult decision to eliminate about 42 positions across the company, including 39 full-time positions and 3 part-time positions. Despite this reduction, BCBSRI remains one of Rhode Island's largest employers and continues to employ nearly 1,000 local employees.

Calenda noted that the company expects to continue creating new jobs as it intensifies efforts to play a leading role in transforming the healthcare delivery system. BCBSRI has been collaborating with local primary care physicians to improve care through innovative treatment models such as the patient-centered medical home. The company also remains committed to providing customers with the programs and products they need to improve their health and get the most out of every healthcare dollar they spend.

"The decision to reduce our workforce was very difficult, especially given these challenging economic times," said Calenda, "but we also have an obligation to our 600,000 members to moderate the costs of healthcare for all."

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state's leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members. The company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit BCBSRI.com and follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI.

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