BCBS of North Carolina needs to rebuild trust. It won't be easy, analysts say

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and its board of trustees may face difficulty restoring the company's reputation in the wake of the arrest and resignation of its CEO Patrick Conway, MD, analysts told the Winston-Salem Journal.

Dr. Conway resigned Sept. 26 after details emerged about an allegedly alcohol-related car crash in June. Dr. Conway was charged with driving while impaired and misdemeanor child abuse after a car crash involving him and his two daughters. His resignation came at the request of the insurer's board of trustees.

Despite Dr. Conway's resignation, Mitch Kokai, a senior policy analyst with Libertarian think tank John Locke Foundation, told the Winston-Salem Journal that BCBSNC could endure challenges as North Carolina rolls out its Medicaid managed care program next year.

"As Blue Cross deals with challenges to its recent win of major state contracts, the company will not want the distraction of a damaged CEO," Mr. Kokai said. "Expect Blue Cross to spend a lot of time in the months ahead going out of its way to assure the state insurance commissioner, legislators and other policymakers that the company will be more upfront and transparent in the future."

BCBSNC trustees came under criticism for keeping the incident quiet until local media learned about it in late September, nearly three months after the arrest.

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