Chet Burrell, president and CEO of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield; Jonathan Blum, former principal deputy administrator and director of the Center for Medicare at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Michael Chernew, professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School; Len Nichols, director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics at George Mason University; and Marci Nielsen, CEO of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative
Jonathan Blum is the former Medicare director and principal deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Chet Burrell was named President and Chief Executive Officer of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in September 2007 and assumed his duties in December of the same year.
Prior to joining CareFirst, Burrell served as President and Chief Executive Officer of RealMed Corporation, a provider of online claims processing services for the health care industry, since April 2002. Before joining RealMed, Burrell served as founder, Chairman and CEO for Novalis Corporation, a managed care technology and consulting company that he developed from the idea stage to an organization serving over 800,000 members. The company partnered with large, regionally-based managed care networks of healthcare providers centered around leading academic medical centers, enabling them to offer their own managed care plans.
Prior to Novalis, Burrell served as Executive Vice President of Anthem Health Plans, where he had responsibility for directing AICI’s managed care operating subsidiary companies. Before joining Anthem, Burrell was President of the Albany Division of Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which at the time was the largest non-profit health insurer in the country. Among other areas, the Albany Division served the company's largest single account (the NYS Employees Program with one million enrollees) as well as all managed care programs operated by the company. Prior to his Empire experience, he was President and CEO for Blue Cross of Northeastern New York, which served subscribers in Upstate New York.
In addition to his private sector healthcare experience, Burrell has also served in the public sector. During a 10-year career with state government in New York, he served in various senior-level positions including: Executive Deputy Commissioner for the New York State Office of Mental Health, Deputy Director for New York State Office of Health Systems Management, the state's health regulatory agency, and New York State Governor’s Staff, Division of the Budget.
Michael E. Chernew, PhD is the Leonard D. Schaeffer Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Chernew’s research examines several areas related to controlling health care spending growth while maintaining or improving quality of care. His work on consumer incentives focuses on Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID), which aligns patient cost sharing with clinical value. Several large companies have adopted these approaches and Dr. Chernew’s ongoing work includes evaluations and design of such programs. His work on payment reform involves the evaluation of bundled payment initiatives, including global payment models that include pay-for-performance components. Related research examines the effects of changes in Medicare Advantage payment rates. Additional research explores the causes and consequences of rising health care spending, and geographic variation in spending, spending growth and quality.
Dr. Chernew received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University, where his training focused on areas of applied microeconomics and econometrics. In 1998 he was awarded the John D. Thompson Prize for Young Investigators by the Association of University Programs in Public Health. In 1999 he received the Alice S. Hersh Young Investigator Award from the Association of Health Services Research. Both of these awards recognize overall contribution to the field of health services research. In 2000, 2004 and 2010, he served on technical advisory panels for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that reviewed the assumptions used by the Medicare actuaries to assess the financial status of the Medicare trust funds. On these panels, Dr. Chernew focused on the methodology used to project trends in long-term health care cost growth. His 2008 article in Health Affairs, “Impact of Decreasing Copayments on Medication Adherence within Disease Management Program,” was awarded the Research Award from the National Institute for Health Care Management.
Dr. Chernew is Vice Chair of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), which is an independent agency established to advise the U.S. Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program. He is also a member of the Congressional Budget Office’s Panel of Health Advisors and The Commonwealth Fund’s Commission on a High Performance Health Care System. Dr. Chernew is also a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. In 2011 he served on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Determination of Essential Health Benefits and in 2010 was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Chernew serves as the Co-Editor of the American Journal of Managed Care and Senior Associate Editor of Health Services Research. He has also served on the Editorial Boards of Health Affairs and Medical Care Research and Review.
Len Nichols directs the Health Policy Program at the New America Foundation, which aims to expand health insurance coverage to all Americans while reining in costs and improving the efficiency of the overall health care system.
Before joining New America, Dr. Nichols was the Vice President of the Center for Studying Health System Change, a Principal Research Associate at the Urban Institute, and the Senior Advisor for Health Policy at the Office of Management and Budget during the Clinton reform efforts of 1993-94. He has testified frequently before Congress and state legislators and has published widely in a variety of health related journals.
Previously, Dr. Nichols was Chair of the Economics Department at Wellesley College, where he taught for 10 years. He also served as a member of the Competitive Pricing Advisory Commission (CPAC) and the 2001 Technical Review Panel for the Medicare Trustees Reports. He was on the advisory panel to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundationâ€™s Covering America project and has been a consultant to the World Bank, the InterAmerican Development Bank, and the Pan American Health Organization. Dr. Nichols received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Illinois.
Dr. Marci Nielsen
Marci Nielsen, PhD, MPH, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC). Marci held previous positions as: Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Associate Professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine; Executive Director of the Kansas Health Policy Authority (KHPA) -- the single state agency managing Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the State Employee Health Plan, health information technology and health policy; the health lobbyist and assistant director of legislation for the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO); and legislative assistant to US Senator Bob Kerrey (D-Nebraska).