Craig Samitt Is Leaving Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

Samitt announced he is retiring after three years at the helm of the Minnesota Blues plan.

Craig Samitt, M.D., MBA, the president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, who has talked often about transforming healthcare, is retiring from the nonprofit insurer.

In a LinkedIn post today, Samitt said he was retiring as of May 3 after much soul searching.

I couldn’t be prouder of the innovative partnerships we forged with providers, the transformed culture we built, the steps we took to speak out and stand up for what is right, and the progress we’ve made in showing the impact an ‘un-health plan’ can have in driving meaningful industry change,” the post says.

The Star Tribune and other outlets reported that Kathleen Blatz, former chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, will act as interim CEO of the Minnesota Blues plan starting tomorrow. She also filled in as the company's interim president and CEO before Samitt took charge of the company in July 2018.

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Unlike many guarded healthcare insurance executives, Samitt gives many interviews, speaking volubly about value-based care, putting more emphasis on prevention and, more recently, about racism and inequity.

“We’ve been in the sickness business, but if we were to invest in the ounce (of prevention) I would argue that racial injustice, social disparity, SDOH, along with many of the other things that we would do to prevent, protect and avoid illness would make us a healthier society, “he said in an interview with HealthLeaders in January.

Related: Minnesota Blues CEO Craig Samitt on COVID-19, 2021 Rates Increases, Telehealth, Medicare for all, and WFH

The Star Tribune reported today that in May 2020, Moody's Investors Service revised its outlook on Minnesota Blues plans, moving it up to stable from negative but downgraded its financial strength and debt ratings based on declines in membership and weak EBITDA margins.