38 Pres­i­dent and CEO CareCon­nect

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS - —Erica Te­ichert

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.”

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