• Drug Coverage
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
  • Vaccines: 2023 Year in Review
  • Eyecare
  • Urothelial Carcinoma
  • Women's Health
  • Hemophilia
  • Heart Failure
  • Vaccines
  • Neonatal Care
  • Type II Inflammation
  • Substance Use Disorder
  • Gene Therapy
  • Lung Cancer
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy
  • HIV
  • Post-Acute Care
  • Liver Disease
  • Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
  • Safety & Recalls
  • Biologics
  • Asthma
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Type I Diabetes
  • RSV
  • COVID-19
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Breast Cancer
  • Prescription Digital Therapeutics
  • Reproductive Health
  • The Improving Patient Access Podcast
  • Blood Cancer
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Respiratory Conditions
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Digital Health
  • Population Health
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Biosimilars
  • Plaque Psoriasis
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma
  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics
  • Urology
  • Obstetrics-Gynecology & Women's Health
  • Opioids
  • Solid Tumors
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Dermatology
  • Diabetes
  • Mental Health

The Silver Linings of the Pandemic Playbook: Telehealth, 'Whole-Person Health,' per Rodrigo Cerdá, M.D., M.P.H., of Independence Blue Cross


The senior vice president of health services and chief medical officer at Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia discusses the spotlight that the COVID-19 pandemic put on behavioral health and Independence's integration of behavioral health into its coverage and care management in this month's episode of “What's on Your Mind?" podcast.

A pandemic is not on anybody’s wish list.

But the one that the SARS-CoV-2 virus has wrought has had some silver linings, says Rodrigo Cerdá, M.D., M.P.H.

“COVID has been an opportunity to think about how we could do things better. It's forced us to do some things that we've been talking about for decades, like telemedicine or telemonitoring, in a new way."

Cerdá is this month’s guest on our “What's on Your Mind?podcast, which features members of the Managed Healthcare Executive editorial advisory board.

Cerdá is senior vice president of health services and chief medical officer at Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia, the largest health insurer in southeastern Philadelphia and one of the largest in the country. Cerdá leads Independence's collaborative efforts with providers and is the company’s chief clinical spokesperson. He also has overall responsibility for the insurer’s population health efforts, case and condition management, provider experience, medical management and policy and health value optimization.

Cerdá joined the MHE editorial advisory board in November 2020.

In a conversation with Managing Editor Peter Wehrwein, Cerdá discusses how the pandemic led to greater recognition of the importance of behavioral health and how that contributed to Independence's push to integrate coverage and management of behavioral health services into its other offerings.

“When you address somebody's behavioral health needs, you can also address some of the other ones,” says Cerdá. “If you want to help a member address their diabetes and have better control over their blood sugars and all the potential complications from diabetes, you're going to have a hard time doing that if you haven't addressed the fact that they are depressed or very anxious."

"We think that by addressing some of the behavioral health needs, we're going to get a large knock-on effect of positive impact on members health," he adds.

Related: What’s on the Mind of Margaret “Meg” Murray of the Association for Community Affiliated Plans?

Cerdá and Wehrwein also talk about the financial plight of providers; the consolidation of providers in the Philadelphia region into two large groups, Penn Medicine and Jefferson Health; and Independence’s clinical innovation program.

Before joining Independence, Cerdá was managing director for integrated health services at PA Consulting and Aetna International in the United Kingdom. Before that, he worked at McKinsey and Company in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

Cerdá completed his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania, his residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, his master’s in public health at Harvard, and his bachelor’s degree at Yale.

He lives in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia with his wife and two boys.

Related Videos
Video 3 - "In-Office Procedures, Over-the-Counter Options, Treatment Delays, and Costs"
Video 6 - "Safety Analysis and Interpreting Results from MAJIC-PV"
Video 5 - "Key Findings from MAJIC-PV"
Video 2 - "Traditional Treatment of Demodex Blepharitis, FDA approval, and Lotilaner Ophthalmic Solution, 0.25%"
Gabriela Hobbs, MD, an expert on polycythemia vera
Gabriela Hobbs, MD, and Timothy Mok, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP
Video 1 - "Demodex Blepharitis: Prevalence, Symptoms, Quality of Life Impact, and Diagnosis"
Video 2 - "The Role of Ruxolitinib in Managing Hydroxyurea Resistance or Intolerance"
Video 1 - "Prevalence and Impact of Hydroxyurea Intolerance or Resistance in Polycythemia Vera"
Related Content
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.