Highmark names act­ing CEO af­ter Me­lani is charged

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

Highmark named J. Robert Baum, the in­surer’s board chair­man and a Univer­sity of Mary­land pro­fes­sor, act­ing CEO af­ter Dr. Ken­neth Me­lani, Highmark’s pres­i­dent and CEO, was charged with as­sault and tres­pass. Me­lani was placed on un­paid ad­min­is­tra­tive leave pend­ing a board meet­ing in com­ing days, the Pitts­burgh­based com­pany said in a state­ment an­nounc­ing Baum’s ap­point­ment. Me­lani faces charges for de­fi­ant tres­pass, a third­de­gree misdemeanor, and sim­ple as­sault, a sec­ond-de­gree misdemeanor, ac­cord­ing to his at­tor­ney, Robert Del Greco Jr. “We re­gret that this sit­u­a­tion arose,” Baum said in a writ­ten state­ment. “The board is fully com­mit­ted to Highmark’s mis­sion and the busi­ness strate­gies that will guide us go­ing for­ward. I’m work­ing closely with Highmark’s ex­cel­lent and ex­pe­ri­enced se­nior lead­er­ship team to ad­dress our top pri­or­i­ties, in­clud­ing: se­cur­ing a mul­ti­year con­tract with the Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh Med­i­cal Cen­ter, com­plet­ing our pro­posed af­fil­i­a­tion with the West Penn Al­legheny Health Sys­tem, and pre­par­ing for the many chal­lenges that health­care re­form brings to the mar­ket­place.” A crim­i­nal com­plaint al­leges that Me­lani fought with the hus­band of a woman with whom Me­lani was hav­ing an af­fair, the Pitts­burgh Post-gazette re­ported.

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