AHIP CEO Karen Ignagni Resigning for EmblemHealth Position

Karen Ignagni is stepping down as president and chief executive officer of America's Health Insurance Plans for a position with EmblemHealth in New York.

Karen Ignagni is stepping down as president and chief executive officer of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) for a position with EmblemHealth in New York.

Ms Ignagni led the American Association of Health Plans from 1993 until 2003 when it merged with the Health Insurance Association of America to form AHIP. She has not made a formal statement yet regarding her departure from AHIP, but it is being reported by POLITICO that she will replace EmblemHealth's Frank Branchini on September 1.

The AHIP Board of Directors announced that Dan Durham, executive vice president for strategic initiatives at AHIP, will serve as interim CEO as the board searches for Ms Ignagni's successor. Mr Durham has 30 years of leadership experience, primarly in the healthcare field. Before joining AHIP, he was vice president for policy at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and served in high-level positions at HHS, the Social Security Administration, and the Office of Management and Budget.

"As the health insurance industry’s top representative in Washington, Karen has successfully navigated intense challenges from the Patient’s Bill of Rights to the Affordable Care Act," wrote Mark B. Ganz, AHIP board chairman and CEO and president of Cambia Health Solutions, wrote in a statement. "With tenacity, intellect and deep policy knowledge, she ensured our industry has a seat at all tables. Perhaps her greatest contributions have been highlighting the value and innovations of this industry."

Ms Ignagni wrote one of the special guest commentary for The American Journal of Managed Care's 20th anniversary, which can be seen here, and in a separate video interview, she spoke about the influence AJMC has had on managed care in the last 2 decades. In it, she writes that health plans are at the center of innovations that are powering the evolution of patient-centered care.

"As we look toward the future, the focus of health plans will be to continue providing innovative solutions that promote affordability, access, and value for patients—that is our commitment to consumers, employers, and our public sector partners," she wrote.