Blues earn­ings stand still

Group’s net in­come holds at $23 mil­lion, to­tal rev­enue hits $420 mil­lion

Modern Healthcare - - The Week In Healthcare - Re­becca Ve­sely

Earn­ings for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield As­so­ci­a­tion, which rep­re­sents Blues health plans, were flat in 2009, and over­all com­pen­sa­tion for the group’s chief ex­ec­u­tive dropped by nearly $1 mil­lion.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield As­so­ci­a­tion posted to­tal rev­enue of $420 mil­lion last year, up from about $411 mil­lion in 2008, ac­cord­ing to its 2009 In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice Form 990.

Ex­penses also rose to a to­tal of $397 mil­lion, com­pared to al­most $388 mil­lion the year prior. The group’s net in­come was $23 mil­lion last year, the same as in 2008, ac­cord­ing to the tax fil­ing with the IRS.

The Chicago-based group earned $982,000 on in­vest­ment in­come in 2009, down sig­nif­i­cantly from in­vest­ment in­come of $6.8 mil­lion in 2008, ac­cord­ing to the fil­ing.

As­so­ci­a­tion of­fi­cials could not com­ment by dead­line.

Ma­jor pro­grams in­cluded BlueCard, a clear­ing­house that al­lows Blues plan mem­bers to re­ceive care in an­other plan’s ser­vice area at sim­i­lar rates. Rev­enues for the pro­gram were $118 mil­lion last year, with ex­penses of $111 mil­lion. The as­so­ci­a­tion said par­tic­i­pat­ing Blues plans saved more than $64 bil­lion in provider dis­counts through the pro­gram last year, an in­crease of 13% since 2008, ac­cord­ing to the fil­ing.

Scott Serota, pres­i­dent and CEO of the as­so­ci­a­tion, earned $3.2 mil­lion in 2009 in to­tal com­pen­sa­tion, down from $4 mil­lion in 2008.

Serota earned about $856,000 in base salary last year, plus nearly $1.6 mil­lion in bonus and in­cen­tives, just un­der $548,000 in other com­pen­sa­tion, and about $239,000 in re­tire­ment and de­ferred com­pen­sa­tion and other non-tax­able ben­e­fits. In 2008, Serota earned about the same salary and ben­e­fits, plus $1.3 mil­lion in de­ferred com­pen­sa­tion. The sec­ond-high­est paid ex­ec­u­tive at the Blues as­so­ci­a­tion last year was Al­lan Korn, se­nior vice pres­i­dent and chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer, who earned a to­tal of $822,000, ac­cord­ing to the Form 990 IRS fil­ing.

The group gave $10,000 to the Repub­li­can State Lead­er­ship Com­mit­tee and $25,000 each to the Repub­li­can Gov­er­nors As­so­ci­a­tion and the Demo­cratic Gov­er­nors As­so­ci­a­tion. It re­ported $360,000 in po­lit­i­cal ex­pen­di­tures in 2009. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield As­so­ci­a­tion rep­re­sents 39 Blues plans na­tion­wide.

Serota earned nearly $1.6 mil­lion in bonus and in­cen­tives in 2009.

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