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Management Strategies

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Elite 8 2013: Where Are They Now?

Data management and customer experience initiatives are high on last years' Elite 8 executives' priority lists.
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Mark Caron: Activity, Growth, And Change

The year since Capital BlueCross’s senior VP and CIO Mark Caron, CHCIO, FACHE, was awarded the Elite 8 honor has been one of activity, growth, and change. For starters, in addition to his CIO responsibilities in the area of corporate analytics and healthcare provider initiatives, in June, Caron was named chief executive officer of Geneia, the healthcare innovations and services company Capital BlueCross purchased in 2012. Currently holding two key positions at his organization — one in IT and the other on the business side — requires Caron to have both business and IT expertise and acumen.  “I’m required to understand both the business of healthcare and what’s needed to make it work, and analytics technology and how it benefits the business,” Caron explains.

Clearly, the nature of the job and the marketplace is highly analytics driven, he adds. “The days of the traditional CIO just worrying about infrastructure are long gone. That doesn’t reduce that responsibility or accountability. It just means you’ve got to have a broader and deeper understanding of the business we’re in and how security figures into everything we build and bring to market,” Caron explains. “Twenty years ago, the CIO worked to enable infrastructure through architecture. But today, the CIO role is more of a business partner and has a seat at the table.”

In the CIO role, Caron continues to work to provide the key elements for analytics and solutions to meet and support the Affordable Care Act and health insurance exchanges, including products and tools to help manage and support the initiatives. “We’re also driving and implementing a major new sales platform with that’s transforming our sales team to tablet-based and proactive-based selling with automated quoting,” Caron notes. “We rolled out one piece to one market segment and will continue to roll it out to additional segments soon.”

Wearing his CEO hat, Caron says Geneia is about to announce a robust analytics platform, built for and designed to support various constituents in the healthcare industry. “As you might expect, the CEO role is to drive the business, vision, and strategy and in some respects some chief sales efforts,” Caron notes. “Now I have a whole product development team that will do things to focus on virtual, mobile, remote, and at-home healthcare, wearable devices – and integrating that with an analytics platform that provides support for the clinicians and physician.”

Peggy Bresnick Kendler has been a writer for 30 years. She has worked as an editor, publicist and school district technology coordinator. During the past decade, Bresnick Kendler has worked for UBM TechWeb on special financialservices technology-centered ... View Full Bio

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