Patricia Hemingway Hall, who oversees the operations of the nation’s largest non-investor-owned health insurer. In this Executive Spotlight, Hall talks about her experience running a major corporation from Chicago
Chicago is home to more than 20,000 healthcare-related establishments and 491,000 healthcare-related employees, which generated $45 billion in healthcare-related GDP in 2012. One of the city’s prominent employers is Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), the largest customer-owned health insurer in the United States, operating through its Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
HCSC employs 20,000 people across five states (more than 6,000 in the Chicago area) and is continuously noted as one of the most respected companies in the country for compliance, diversity and community outreach.
From her early career as an intensive care nurse to president and CEO of HCSC, she has has been dedicated to helping people with their health care needs, and pays continual attention to how decisions affect almost 14 million members. The company also operates Dearborn National, TMG Health, MEDecision and Academic Health Plans.
Hall has received numerous recognitions, including being named to: 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare, Top 25 Women in Healthcare, and Crain’s Chicago’s Power 50 lists.
Since becoming CEO in 2008, She has grown HCSC by more than 1 million members, built its technology infrastructure to an industry-leading standard, focused resources on creating an unrivaled customer service experience for members and increased the company’s investments in its local communities.
Q: How long have you been in Chicago? What brought you here?
A: I’ve lived in Chicago for seven years, although I was a frequent visitor before moving here for the opportunity to lead Health Care Service Corporation. I grew up in Michigan – it’s good to be back in the Midwest.
Q: What is the best thing about running a business in Chicago?
A: While Chicago’s central location is important for our business, it’s the high level of collaboration within the business community and strong bias for action that make Chicago exceptional.
Q: As one of the nation’s largest health insurers, explain Chicago’s healthcare community, and why it benefits HCSC to be here.
A: Chicago is home to some of the most advanced health care systems and leading medical research in the world. It’s an environment that drives innovation and motivates excellence, which are qualities important to HCSC. In addition, the medical community in Chicago is open to new approaches and working with us to benefit their patients and our Blue Cross and Blue Shield members.
Q: As a WBC Board member, how do you hope to contribute to the city’s economic development efforts?
A: While HCSC and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois have played an important role in Chicago’s development since 1936, I believe that WBC membership provides additional opportunities for civic involvement and business growth. As a board member, I hope to have a voice in helping to influence that development for the benefit of our community.
Q: If you were to describe Chicago to someone who has not visited, what would you say?
A: Chicago is an American treasure, not to be missed. From the historic and cutting-edge architecture, to the breathtaking lakefront, to the world-class museums, Chicago is an amazing city.
Q: What assets in Chicago do you utilize the most (i.e. the city’s parks, libraries, museums, etc.)?
A: You are likely to find me shopping on Michigan Avenue or dining at one of our many incredible restaurants.