BCBSMA halts payments to directors
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts board members, huddling in an emergency meeting yesterday, voted to suspend their five-figure annual directors' payments and to start discussions with the state attorney general's office and community leaders about the health insurer's status as a public charity. With the company facing mounting criticism over its pay for part-time board members, and Attorney General Martha Coakley set to recommend that nonprofit insurers stop compensating directors, the board's unanimous vote was an effort to restore the company's credibility as it presses hospitals to hold down medical costs. "Obviously, this has become a great distraction,'' Blue Cross CEO Andrew Dreyfus conceded. Dreyfus said he called for the board meeting because "it was important that they make a statement" following a week of complaints from the public and some elected officials over the board fees and an $11 million payout given to former Blue Cross CEO Cleve L. Killingsworth.
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