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2015 Women to Watch: Pam Kehaly



Health Insurers More + Less -

Pam Kehaly

President, West region and specialty business

Anthem Inc., Thousand Oaks, California

Age: 54

Early in Pam Kehaly's career, working as an operations supervisor for Blue Cross of California, a call center employee sent a case to her desk. It was a frustrated man whose wife was dying, and he was having trouble navigating the complicated world of insurance and hospital bills.

“I helped him to work through the immediate issues and continued to help him,” she said. “That particular event made me realize that I could work in an industry that had a positive impact on people's lives and collect a paycheck. We are fortunate that we work for an industry where we can do well by doing good.”

Today, she's the Thousand Oaks, California-based president for the West region and specialty business for Anthem Inc., overseeing eight state offices with programs in medical, dental, life, disability, workers compensation and vision insurance. In charge of 5,000 team members and responsible for $21 billion in annual revenue, Ms. Kehaly said it's her desire to help people that keeps her going.

Among her accomplishments is her major role in developing Vivity, an innovative program that partners an insurance company with hospitals to help manage illnesses and achieve measurable results in wellness. Seven California hospital systems are part of the program, boasting 12,000 members.

“We are completely aligned and share profits for delivering care to covered members,” she said. The program aims to correct the disconnect between providers and insurers, she added.

“In our current medical system, the financing is structured around volume and getting people in hospital beds,” Ms. Kehaly said. Vivity “aligns the medical system and insurers on keeping the patient well. It's providing the highest quality in cost-effective care.”

Ms. Kehaly said she hopes to spend the next decade or so helping companies better understand the new health care climate — naming the Affordable Care Act as a major challenge — and forging the notion that insurance companies and hospitals can better work together to improve outcomes and profits.

“I would not want to retire until I see Vivity taking root as a new foundation for care,” she said. “That's something I am personally invested in.”

Colleagues praise Ms. Kehaly for her dedication to people and business.

“She has driven a new market-leading direction for the business and ensured the right leaders are in place to drive successful execution,” said Jeff Spahr, Thousand Oaks-based vice president of specialty business at Anthem. “This has translated into double-digit growth for the business.”

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