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Head of L.A. Health Plan Is Retiring


CEO John Baackes is stepping down at the end of this year.

John Baackes

John Baackes

John Baackes, CEO of the L.A.Care Health Plan, the largest publicly operated health plan in the country, is retiring at the end of this year.

Baackes has led the health plan since 2015. The news release on Friday making the announcement credited Baackes with expanding the health plan’s network of directly contracted physicians and expanding the number of community resource centers from four to 14. L.A. Care’s LinkedIn page says it covers 2.9 million people.

“I am proud of all that we have accomplished at L.A. Care during my time with this pioneering agency and am eager to watch it continue to grow and evolve to meet our cmmunity’s health needs,” said Baackes in the news release.

L.A. Care has run afoul of federal and state regulations during Baackes times as CEO. Last year, the federal Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights fined the plan $1.3 million for two data breaches that were violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that occurred in 2014 and 2019.

In 2022, the California Department of Managed Care announced that it and the Department of Health Care Services had fined the plan a total of $55 million for not responding to patient grievances and prior authorization requests in a timely way. California health launched the investigation that led to fines after reporting by the Los Angeles Times. 

Before leading L.A. Care Health Plan, Baackes was president of Philadelphia-based AmeriHealth Caritas VIP Plans where he oversaw the Medicare Advantage business unit. Prior to AmeriHealth, he was CEO of Senior Whole Health in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

L.A. Health is the largest health plan in Los Angeles County, covering more than one-quarter of the county’s residents

L.A. Care’s news releases says that the health plan’s Board of Governors has hired the Furst Group to conduct a national search to hire Baackes’ successor.

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