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Sutter Health/Aetna venture names Steve Wigginton new CEO

The joint venture currently offers employers with employees in northern California self-insured commercial products.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

Former Valence Health CEO Steve Wigginton has been named CEO of the new Sutter Health and Aetna joint venture.

Wigginton will lead the new healthcare company effective immediately, reporting to the Sutter Health/Aetna board of directors. 

He will initially focus on building the joint venture's management team, securing necessary regulatory approvals, finalizing product offerings, refining the sales strategy and developing a multi-year roadmap to build a more member-centric experience, the company said.

"Steve is a respected leader with a proven track record of driving culture, growth and innovation in the healthcare industry," said Kristen Miranda, Aetna's market president for California, in a release.  "Steve has a passion for creating a better healthcare experience for consumers, and a clear vision of what will make Sutter Health/Aetna successful."

Sutter Health and Aetna announced plans in June 2017 to launch the jointly owned health plan in northern California. It combines Sutter's provider network with Aetna's data, analytics and health information technology

It currently offers employers with employees in northern California self-insured commercial products with effective dates as early as April 1. 

The new company plans to offer fully-insured PPO products in early 2019.

"With this new joint venture, Sutter Health and Aetna are well positioned to disrupt the status quo in the marketplace and further transform healthcare in Northern California," said Phil Jackson, Sutter Health's CEO of Health Plan Products, in a release. "We look forward to Steve's leadership as we jointly create a healthcare model that works to provide people and employers with access to simpler, more affordable care."

Most recently, Wigginton served as the CEO of Valence Health, leading the operational integration of Valence's acquisition by Evolent Health in 2016.

Prior to the Valence acquisition, Wigginton served as Evolent's chief development officer.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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