President & CEO
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
In his 40-plus years as a health care administrator, Chet Burrell has worked for companies from New York to Indiana. But it’s been as president and CEO of CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield that Burrell has made his biggest mark.
Since taking over in 2007, Burrell has implemented many innovations and met many challenges at the giant, 5,060-employee, Baltimore-based CareFirst.
Among them: the company’s complex transition to offering health care insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act; the start of the Patient-Centered Medical Home Program, which incentivizes quality care and gives primary care providers the tools to manage care more effectively, and now serves some 1.1 million CareFirst members; and, a “BlueRewards” program that helps CareFirst employees better manage their own wellness programs.
Burrell has received numerous awards for his work and serves on the boards of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, Greater Washington Board of Trade and the Council for Affordable Quality Health Care.
But the most important honor he’s ever received, he said, is a diorama from Health Care for the Homeless, a Baltimore organization that provides health care and support services to the homeless. Made from scraps of paper and tin foil, the diorama depicts a person looking in on a doctor treating a patient under a sign that reads, “Mandatory Payment Prior to Service.”
The diorama is displayed prominently in his company’s headquarters where it serves, Burrell said, as “a constant reminder (for) CareFirst to fulfill its mission to improve the health needs of the community.”