1988 finance graduate now president at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama
Healthcare in Alabama and across the US faces numerous challenges: the debate over the Affordable Care Act, instability in the market, and possibly most pressing to individuals and companies who provide employee benefits – cost.
One Harbert College graduate, however, hopes to make an impact along the way. Tim Vines, who earned an undergraduate degree in finance in 1988, was appointed Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama President and Chief Operating Officer last November.
“In my 24 years with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, the changes we have experienced over the last five years have been some of the most dramatic,” says Vines. “The healthcare industry continues to change almost daily, and with that comes many challenges and opportunities. Collaborating with employers, individual members, healthcare providers, and public officials allows us to successfully navigate through these ongoing changes within the industry.”
Vines, who will succeed Terry Kellogg as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama CEO later this year, grew up in LaFayette, Ala., and “truly enjoyed my small-town upbringing,” he says. “Growing up, I always liked math and knew I wanted to do something involving numbers.”
He did just that.
After a five-year banking career, Vines served in a variety of capacities at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama including Vice President of Special Claims Operations, Vice President of Health Management, Senior Vice President of Health Management, Senior Vice President of Business Operations, Chief Administrative Officer, and most recently, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
Part of the future of healthcare in Alabama lies in Vines’ direction.
“Making every effort to control healthcare costs for our members continues to be one of our main focuses,” he says. “We believe our customers should have access to quality healthcare at the most affordable price. I am proud that our efficient business practices and collaborative efforts with physicians, hospitals, and other providers are a significant reason why Alabama’s healthcare premiums are among the lowest in the country. By working closely with physicians and other providers, we are always looking to implement new ideas and best practices to deliver improved health outcomes and control costs for our members.”
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama continues to search for innovative means to support customers and engages its members with the goal of providing quality, affordable healthcare. “We are constantly reviewing and evaluating our products and services to ensure they are meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations,” he adds.
Vines believes Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama will continue to be the “insurer of choice” among employers and families 20 years from now. “This has been our mission for the past 80-plus years, and we plan to continue that mission for the next 80 years and beyond. We recognize everything we do is on behalf of our customers and we don’t take that for granted.”