Deborah Rice-Johnson is CEO of Diversified Businesses for Highmark Inc. and chief growth officer. She is an innovative health leader, driven by a passion for reinventing health care experiences and pioneering provider relationships designed to keep care close to home and change antiquated reimbursement methods. Through diverse and inventive relationships ranging from joint ventures to equity interest partnerships, she has spearheaded affiliations and clinical alliances with Penn State Health, Geisinger Health System, Lehigh Valley and many regionally-based health care providers.
As CEO of Diversified Businesses, she is responsible for Highmark subsidiaries including: United Concordia Dental, the sixth largest dental plan nationally that serves the largest voluntary dental program in the world with TRICARE; HM Insurance Group, a top ten national stop loss carrier with additional managed care reinsurance solutions; and Helion, a healthcare technology and services firm that helps payers cultivate high-performing networks while empowering providers to operate at their best.
As chief growth officer, Ms. Rice-Johnson is responsible for pursuing a range of strategic partnerships, affiliations and acquisitions that enables Highmark to unlock the shared value to organizations and transform healthcare. Together, we will realize the potential of a Living Health model, which creates a better system for customers and clinicians through innovative solutions and partnerships while strengthening community-based care, improving health outcomes and lowering costs for members.
In her role as president of Highmark Inc., Ms. Rice-Johnson provided senior leadership and strategic direction for the company's multi-state health insurance organization. During this time, she guided Highmark through successful affiliations in Delaware, West Virginia, Western and Northeastern New York, as well as a merger in Northeastern Pennsylvania. As a result, Highmark Health Plans are now among the largest Blue Plans in the country, serving more than 6 million members and Highmark Inc. revenue has grown to approximately $22 billion.
Ms. Rice-Johnson has more than 30 years of experience in the health insurance industry. Her leadership has not only redefined the payer-provider relationship and yielded unparalleled financial performance, but she has also delivered innovative clinical solutions that aim to improve health outcomes. She is also keenly committed to positively impacting the employment situation of our nation’s military veterans and those with disabilities through championing private-sector hiring efforts.
Ms. Rice-Johnson holds a bachelor's degree in business management from Carlow University. In 2014 she was named a Carlow Laureate, the university's most prestigious alumni award recognizing those whose work, thought, and action demonstrate the highest standards of professional accomplishment and leadership. She was also named to Modern Healthcare's Top 25 Women Leaders in 2022, a program honoring female executives who are guiding healthcare delivery improvement across the country.
Current Board affiliations:
Highmark Ventures, President
Penn State Health
Synergie Medication Collective
The United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania
Epilepsy Association of Western and Central Pennsylvania, Chairman Emeritus
Thought Leadership Topics:
Creating community-based networks of care
Developing a continuum of provider partnerships, clinical joint ventures, and integrations that bring primary and specialty care closer to where people work and live. This includes Highmark's ongoing investments in Allegheny Health Network and partnerships with Penn State Health, Geisinger and Lehigh Valley.
Forging innovative payer-provider partnerships
Collaborating with providers to align financial incentives to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction. This includes Highmark's signature True Performance program, which rewards primary care physicians for delivering high-value care. More than 2,000 primary care practices, covering nearly 2 million lives, participate across Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware. Highmark's claims data shows that the program has helped to avoid over $2 billion in total health care costs since its start in 2017.
Improving health care affordability
Combating the rising cost of prescription drugs through value-based agreements that hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for clinical and cost effectiveness.
Ensuring members and patients receive evidence-based, high-quality care in the most cost-effective and convenient care setting.
Creating a remarkable health experience
Investing in technology, care navigation tools and other resources that make it easier for our members and patients to manage their health and access the right care at the right time.
Helping veterans reach their full potential
Applying veterans' unique skills, experience and commitment to teamwork to employment opportunities at Highmark and in all of the communities we serve.
Disability Matters Radio Show: Highmark, Inc. Committed to Hiring People with Disabilities, November 2021
"People with disabilities bring their unique perspectives and experiences that help us better serve our communities and shape the solutions we bring to the marketplace."
All references to “Highmark” in this document are references to the Highmark company that is providing the member’s health benefits or health benefit administration and/or to one or more of its affiliated Blue companies.
This website is operated by Highmark, Inc. and is not the Health Insurance Marketplace website. It also does not display all Qualified Health Plans available through the Health Insurance Marketplace website. To see all available Qualified Health Plan options, go to the Health Insurance Marketplace website at HealthCare.gov.
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield or Highmark Blue Shield are Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and/or Part D plans with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in these plans depends on contract renewal.
®Blue Cross, Blue Shield and the Cross and Shield symbols are registered service marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. Benefits and/or benefit administration may be provided by or through the following entities, which are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association: Western and Northeastern PA: Highmark Inc. d/b/a Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Highmark Choice Company, Highmark Health Insurance Company, Highmark Coverage Advantage Inc., Highmark Benefits Group Inc., First Priority Health, First Priority Life or Highmark Senior Health Company. Central and Southeastern PA: Highmark Inc. d/b/a Highmark Blue Shield, Highmark Benefits Group Inc., Highmark Health Insurance Company, Highmark Choice Company or Highmark Senior Health Company.
PA: Your plan may not cover all your health care expenses. Read your plan materials carefully to determine which health care services are covered. For more information, call the number on the back of your member ID card or, if not a member, call 866-459-4418.
Delaware: Highmark BCBSD Inc. d/b/a Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
West Virginia: Highmark West Virginia Inc. d/b/a Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Highmark Health Insurance Company or Highmark Senior Solutions Company. Visit our website to view the Access Plan required by the Health Benefit Plan Network Access and Adequacy Act. You may also request a copy by contacting us at the number on the back of your ID card.
Western NY: Highmark Western and Northeastern New York Inc. d/b/a Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Northeastern NY: Highmark Western and Northeastern New York Inc. d/b/a Highmark Blue Shield.
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