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HL20: Bruce Bodaken—Survival and the Need for Continuous Change

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, December 13, 2012

Bodaken says Blue Shield is trying to convince other companies to join the effort. The ultimate goal, he explains, is for Blue Shield to price its rates "so we don't give money back. We're getting closer to having lower rates and giving less back."

He is proud of the work Blue Shield has done to expand accountable care organizations across the state. It now has eight ACOs throughout California.

Healthcare wasn't part of Bruce Bodaken's career plans when he was working on a PhD in philosophy, but with few teaching job available he accepted a position with an HMO.

He discovered that his sense of social responsibility and interest in making a difference complemented HMO efforts to focus on wellness, prevention, and better care at lower cost. "In a funny way I was able to combine my education and the mission of the nonprofit organization."

He moved to Blue Shield in 1994 and says he once again found himself in an organization that was aligned with his own thinking about the access, delivery, and cost of healthcare.

"I have truly enjoyed and loved being in the business."

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