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Regence's Owners Fined By Washington State Over Arrest

The $10,000 fine stems from the arrest in June 2019 of Dr. Patrick Conway who was set to become CEO of Cambia as part of a partnership deal.
BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina''s headquarters in Durham, North Carolina./BCBSNC
January 17, 2021

Washington state has fined Regence Blue Cross BlueShield of Oregon's parent company, Cambia Health Solutions, Inc. over the drunken-driving arrest of an incoming CEO.

The state's insurance commissioner, Mike Kreidler, said the company was fined $10,000 following the arrest of Dr. Patrick Conway for drunken driving with a child in the car in June 2019. His arrest came three months after Cambia and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina announced they had agreed to a partnership.

Under the deal, Conway was to head Cambia, based in Portland, along with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

Kreidler said that Cambia had failed to notify his office in its application documents of Conway's arrest. 

"As part of the application, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina should have notified Kreidler’s office and other state insurance regulators of the charges against Conway within two business days," the statement read. "Instead, Cambia continued its application, knowing the required notification had not been filed."

A fine was also levied in Oregon but not against Cambia. The Department of Consumer and Business Services fined the North Carolina company this month for failing to alert of Conway's arrest. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina filed a statement of acquisition in Oregon in April 2019, saying it was going to take over Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence Health Maintenance of Oregon, Inc.,Regence HMO Oregon and LifeMap Assurance Co. They're all based in Portland and owned by Cambia.

In Washington state, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina was going to control Regence BlueShield, Asuris Northwest Health and Commencement Bay Risk Management Insurance Co., which are also owned by Cambia. Altogether, Cambia owns more than 20 companies and operates health plans in Oregon, Washington state, Utah and Idaho, covering more than 3 million people.

Kreidler said he was alerted to the arrest in September 2019, a few days before Conway resigned. The proposed partnership was canceled shortly after. 

Mark Ganz, Cambia's long-time CEO announced his retirement last September. Cambia's board of directors picked Jared Short, who was president and chief operating officer, to succeed Ganz. Short, who's been with the company about 16 years, took the reins this Jan. 1. HIs signature is on the  to pay a $10,000 fine.

The amount pales in comparison to a $750,000 files levied by Washington state against Cambia in 2016 following a flood of policyholder complaints in 2010 and 2011.

You can reach Lynne Terry at [email protected] or on Twitter @LynnePDX.