38 President and CEO CareConnect
ALAN MURRAY’S PATH to a healthcare industry career was unconventional, to say the least.
A former British Merchant Navy officer and semipro soccer player, he moved to the U.S. to follow his girlfriend (and now wife), who is a Long Island, N.Y., native. That started a trajectory to leading CareConnect, the insurance arm of Northwell Health.
“My mother-in-law’s cousin’s best friend gave me an interview,” he said. He started as a project associate at Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and quickly rose through the ranks to vice president there and subsequently at UnitedHealthcare before he was 30, gaining new responsibilities along the way.
Now, Murray runs a 3-year-old insurance business for Northwell that’s expected to be profitable by 2018. It’s swelled to more than 105,000 members in 2016 and projected revenue of nearly $700 million. “We’re achieving more than we thought we would have at this time,” he said. That success in large part is due to Murray, according to Northwell CEO Michael Dowling, who called him an “instinctive innovator with an entrepreneurial spirit” who has created the most successful health insurance startup in New York.
“It’s also a model of provider-payer integration that others are already trying to replicate, and is key to Northwell’s future as a value-based organization,” he said.
That success hasn’t been without its challenges; CareConnect will make hefty risk-adjustment payments going forward due to its growth. But Murray said he has assembled a team to make the growth sustainable.
“The real secret sauce is I have been incredibly fortunate to find like-minded people who have taken up the challenges that I’ve set and created a fantastic leadership team,” he said. “The strength of any executive is those who are prepared to follow.”