Executive medical directors named at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

EAGAN, Minn., June 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) today announced the appointments of Dr. Paul Karazija as executive medical director for commercial and government programs, and Dr. Lawrence (Larry) Lee as executive medical director for provider relations and quality.  In these roles, Drs. Karazija and Lee will provide direction and oversight of medical policies, credentialing, provider relations, and quality improvement programs to ensure Blue Cross members continue receiving the most effective and highest-quality care available.

The creation of an executive medical director structure replaces the traditional chief medical officer role and represents the most senior medical leadership positions within Blue Cross.  According to Garrett Black, senior vice president of Health Management, the concept of having co-lead executive physicians was designed with the goal of fostering even more collaboration and innovation among all stakeholder groups.

"Our customers look to Blue Cross to manage the total health of their employees and family members with new approaches that advance the quality of clinical care and improve people's health," says Black.  "Providers look to us as a trusted partner for achieving our shared goals of managing health care costs, improving clinical outcomes, and optimizing the patient experience. The appointments of Drs. Karazija and Lee directly support all of these objectives. We look to their leadership, innovative thinking, and energy in helping advance the health of the people and communities we serve."

Dr. Karazija (pronounced kah-RAH-zi-jah) joined Blue Cross in May 2011 as senior medical director of key accounts.  A board-certified internist, he has been in medical director leadership roles since 1996.  Prior to joining Blue Cross, Karazija was chief medical officer at Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa and South Dakota.

Dr. Lee joined Blue Cross in February 2012 as medical director of provider analytics and clinical performance. He is a board-certified internist and has been in medical director leadership positions since 2006.  Prior to joining Blue Cross, Dr. Lee was a health plan medical director at HealthPartners.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota's first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today as a health company: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. Blue Cross is a not-for-profit, taxable organization. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago. Go to bluecrossmn.com to learn more about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

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