Cambia Health CEO Mark Ganz on the cutting edge of end-of-life care


Cambia Health, which owns Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield, is looking to make a statement with its new palliative care program. Aiming to empower consumers' role in their healthcare, the insurance company created a person-focused program that emphasizes patients and their families when care planning for terminal conditions.

To learn more about Cambia's palliative care program, which facilitates members' healthcare needs from wellness through death, FierceHealthPayer spoke with Cambia CEO Mark Ganz (pictured) in an exclusive interview. In part one of a two-part series, Ganz discussed the drivers behind focusing on palliative care and the goals he hopes to attain with the new program.

FierceHealthPayer: Palliative care isn't a topic frequently discussed among insurers. Can you describe why you wanted to focus on this type of care?

Mark Ganz: One of the things that we want to do is take a very bold, cutting-edge position. Our goal is to create tension in the industry that hopefully will cause others to move in our direction. This is not an issue [where] we're motivated by some form of competitive differentiation that we're going to sell more products. It's really to try to move the industry to a more evolved view of the importance and value of palliative care in the treatment of patients. That's how social change happens--you have to have people who will change their positions and others will look at it and say 'I hadn't thought of that before. And that makes a lot of sense.'"

Since we made the announcement, I've had two or three leaders of other companies who have reached out saying they want to talk with me about what we're doing and better understand how we thought about it. And that's exactly what I hoped we would accomplish.

Because this is really an issue about respecting peoples' and their families' wishes, listening to them and ensuring that they have self-determination about how they want to be treated in the midst of advanced or serious illness.