2020 Corporate Report
Resolve. This simple word can mean two different things; it can mean making a firm commitment to an idea or it can mean finding solutions to problems.
Both were true for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) in 2020, my first year with the company. My transition into the CEO role was made easier by Gerald Petkau, currently the senior vice president of our commercial markets segment. He served as interim CEO prior to my arrival and initiated the company’s vigorous response to the COVID-19 pandemic; I thank him for his steady hand and reliable counsel as I assumed leadership.
It was a year that may not be remembered fondly by very many of us as our state’s collective resolve was tested. Still, it was a pivotal year in health care and an important year for Blue Cross NC as we pushed forward in our efforts to resolve some of the issues that make it harder for North Carolinians to live their healthiest lives.
It was a year fraught with crises – a global pandemic that remains a source of significant concern for North Carolinians, a powerful social justice uprising and a contested election season – but our resolve was not compromised. Alongside the work of many state and national leaders, our company’s efforts were not diminished.
Blue Cross NC quickly launched critical initiatives and collaborations to transform our health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the needs of our customers, our communities and our people.
The pandemic did not deter us from our quest for better, simpler, more affordable health care. Indeed, COVID-19 brought more urgency to our work. In 2020, we announced lower premiums for our individual under 65 customers for the third consecutive year, provided direct relief to customers in the form of $200 million in health and wellness retail cards and the first full year of our Blue PremierSM provider payment model rendered $153 million in cost savings for our customers.
Our rural health initiative contributed $8 million to expand access to care outside metro areas in our state. Funds went toward improving housing, supporting technology improvements, funding scholarships at community colleges, expanding health care for the uninsured and moving toward value-based care in community and rural hospitals.
The summer’s call for social justice propelled our company’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). We reimagined our DEI Council to think boldly about what more we can do to accelerate meaningful change for our employees, members and communities.
I encourage you to explore the following sections of this report to learn more about how we accomplished extraordinary things for our customers, our communities and our people.
In 2021, we resolve to continue helping North Carolinians navigate the COVID-19 crisis.
We resolve to accelerate our efforts to lower the cost of health care.
We resolve to fight for equity in health care and in our communities.
Tunde Sotunde, MD, MBA, FAAP
President and CEO
Our Triune Towers
The Triune Towers sculpture symbolizes the synergistic relationship between doctors, our members and our company. It was designed by Saunders Shultz and William Severson of Scopia Studio, a St. Louis firm specializing in monumental public art. After more than 40 years in front of our former headquarters, the Triune was moved to its current site in 2016.