“A very meaningful milestone in the life of Commonwealth Care Alliance”

November 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

By Robert J. Master, MD, Founder, Commonwealth Care Alliance

It is with enormous pleasure that I announce the good news that, after an exhaustive national search, Chris Palmieri has been named the new CEO of Commonwealth Care Alliance. I would like to take this opportunity to offer the following perspective as we celebrate a transition that represents a very meaningful milestone in the life of Commonwealth Care Alliance.

Organizations like people must continually change and evolve if they are to grow. In fact our success going forward will depend more than anything else on our ability to nimbly evolve to meet new challenges and realize new opportunities. To that end leadership that brings new vision, experience and skill sets, is critical. Chris Palmieri is such a leader. Chris brings vision, extensive provider and plan leadership experience and a sophisticated understanding of both the medical and long term care needs of those for whom we care. Most importantly, Chris also brings a deep and abiding commitment to our mission, vision, values and those who have entrusted their care to us.

I first met Chris in 2006 when he was developing a Managed LTC Plan and a concurrent Dual Special Needs Plan for the non-profit Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) for Medicaid and Dual beneficiaries with needs very similar to our members. It was very telling then (and more so now), that Chris and colleagues at VNSNY reached out to CCA for guidance because of a sincere appreciation for our care delivery transformation efforts in the SCO demonstration that had been underway for nearly two years.  Since then, Chris has gone on to successfully implement and scale his vision as President and CEO of VNSNY’s Choice Health Plans that eventually enrolled and cared for 40,000 Medicaid and Medicare high need beneficiaries and successfully managed two billion dollars of Medicaid and Medicare premium revenue in arguably the most challenging health care market in the country. So with Chris’ leadership, experience, values and “can-do” entrepreneurial spirit, I know that our best days are ahead of us.

As for me, I want to reiterate that I will continue my involvement with CCA. With this transition, I will be joining the Board as well as expanding my hospitalist physician attending role on our inpatient service at Boston Medical Center.

So let me close with these thoughts. Way back in January when I announced my intent to step down as CEO, I wrote the following:

“When Commonwealth Care Alliance was created 12 years ago by our advocacy colleagues at the Boston Center for Independent Living, Community Catalyst and Health Care for All, it would have been totally delusional to envision the degree of success and influence that we have earned. Simply stated, during these twelve years Commonwealth Care Alliance has fostered care delivery, payer and policy innovation writ large, innovation that is the result of the vision of committed clinician and management experience with the advocacy values of our founders to create positive change that is unique in the American health care landscape.”

During the past ten months since I wrote these words, we have come through yet another year of extraordinary challenges that in the end has made us stronger as well as resulted in sustainable One Care Medicare and Medicaid financing policy changes that will stabilize our finances sufficiently to allow us to go forward with our pioneering work in the years ahead. Because I have so much appreciation for all that we have done together, I once again have to acknowledge the extraordinary contribution of all who have worked at Commonwealth Care Alliance past and present; all who have worked in our partner advocacy organizations past and present; all the safety net primary care practices, human service providers, agencies and vendors with whom we have partnered, past and present; and finally all who have volunteered thousands of hours of their time and wisdom to board and committee work, past and present. You have made Commonwealth Care Alliance what we are today. I am so proud, fulfilled and grateful to have been a part of it.

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