Alumnus ahead of the times

BCBSNE president and CEO Steven S. Martin and Washburn president Jerry Farley.

BCBSNE president and CEO Steven S. Martin and President Jerry Farley.

That Steve Martin is in the process of ground-breaking work as president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

This is, after all, a man who worked toward a nursing degree at a time — the 1970s — when the field consisted almost entirely of women. He’s comfortable chartering unfamiliar territory.

Martin, the guest speaker at Thursday’s Wake Up with Washburn breakfast lecture series, put his degree, a bachelor of science in nursing, to use immediately after college, climbing the ranks in the health care industry.

Martin had the foresight to found Prime Therapeutics, a “comprehensive pharmacy benefits solutions company owned by eight independent Blue Cross Blue Shield plans that integrate pharmacy claim processing, drug manufacturer contracting, drug utilization analysis, clinical programs and consulting services into Blue Cross Blue Shield plans and other regionally oriented health plans, HMOs, and specialty pharmacy benefit organizations,” according to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska’s website.

Prime Therapeutics is the largest privately owned pharmacy benefit management administrator in the country.

As the CEO of BCBSNE, Martin is one of the leaders of a company studying and preparing innovative models during a time of health care reform.

Martin discussed his work during Thursday’s presentation, which he titled “New Health Care Business Models and Opportunities Arising from Health Care Reform.”

You can read more about Martin’s visit on the Alumni Association’s website.