Michael W. Cropp, M.D., of Independent Health Appointed 2013-2015 ACHP Board of Directors Chair

CONTACT: Rachel Schwartz
Alliance of Community Health Plans
202-785-2247 (office)
202-251-8881 (cell)

Frank Sava
Independent Health
716-635-3885 (office)
716-225-8530 (cell)

For immediate release January 28, 2013

Washington, D.C. – The Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) announced today that Michael W. Cropp, M.D., president and CEO of Independent Health in Buffalo, N.Y., has been elected by his colleagues as the new chair of the organization’s Board of Directors.

“Under Mike’s leadership, Independent Health has been at the forefront of the transformation of health care. As chair of ACHP’s board, his experience in implementing strategies that control costs while simultaneously improving health care quality and customer satisfaction make him a valuable thought leader both for communities and national policy leaders. Mike leads by example when he talks about how ACHP plans are building healthier communities and improving the delivery of affordable, high-quality care,” said ACHP President and CEO Patricia Smith.

Dr. Cropp succeeds Scott Armstrong of Group Health Cooperative of Seattle, Washington, who served as chair of ACHP’s Board of Directors for the last two years.

Dr. Cropp’s approach of engaging physicians as partners, implementing initiatives with community-minded results and focusing on customer-centric ideals have greatly benefitted western New York and earned Independent Health both local and national recognition for outstanding quality, innovation, improved patient outcomes and superior customer service. For three consecutive years, Independent Health has been the highest-ranked health insurance plan in the New York/New Jersey region by J.D. Power and Associates Member Health Insurance Plan StudySM.

“I am honored and excited to lead the board and alliance of America’s best health plans and provider groups during one of the most challenging times for health care in our country’s history,” said Dr. Cropp. “While national efforts provide a framework for reform, the unsustainable trend of rising health care costs must be addressed at the local level. Cities and regions throughout the country must focus their efforts on sustainable long-term solutions to meet the needs of the individuals in their communities. We must harness creative solutions with a collaborative and thoughtful approach to improve quality, eliminate wasteful spending and enhance efficiencies to make health care more affordable for business, government and all individuals.”

Dr. Cropp has established several community initiatives to improve access, quality and affordability of health care. He is the founding chairman of the P2 Collaborative of Western New York. He is also the founding chairman of Western New York Clinical Information Exchange, also known as HEALTHeLINK, a consortium of community stakeholders working to provide electronic access to health information. This initiative was the recipient of the Federal government’s largest Beacon Community award.

“We know creating a culture of health in a community improves the capacity for Americans to live healthier lives and reduces health care costs,” said Alice Rivlin, Ph.D., senior fellow, Brookings Institution and co-chair, Debt Reduction Task Force, Bipartisan Policy Center. “The results from healthy initiatives championed by Mike Cropp are evident in the improved health of western New Yorkers, as reported by a recent Commonwealth Fund study. Serving as chair of the ACHP board is a valuable opportunity to share these initiatives in communities throughout the country, and improve both the health and economy of our nation.”

Dr. Cropp is a board-certified family physician with more than 25 years of experience as a health care executive. He joined Independent Health in 1996 and was appointed president and CEO in 2004. Under his leadership, the organization delivers health-related products and services to almost 375,000 customers. In addition, Dr. Cropp is involved in important regional and national health care policy discussions, which provide a voice for the western New York health care community on important health care issues.

Dr. Cropp received his bachelor’s and medical degrees from Brown University, and completed his residency in family practice at Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He earned his M.B.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Alliance of Community Health Plans

The Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) is a national leadership organization bringing together innovative health plans and provider groups that are among America’s best at delivering affordable, high-quality coverage and care. The community based and regional health plans and provider organizations from across the country that make up ACHP’s membership provide coverage and care for approximately 16 million Americans. These 22 organizations focus on improving the health of the communities they serve and are on the leading edge of innovations in affordability and the quality of care, including patient care coordination, patient-centered medical homes, accountable health care delivery and use of information technology.

To learn more about ACHP, visit www.achp.org.

Independent Health

Headquartered in Buffalo, Independent Health began operations in 1980 and has consistently been rated among the top health plans in the country for customer service and member satisfaction. Independent Health’s comprehensive portfolio of product and service offerings include HMO, POS, PPO and EPO products, Medicare and Medicaid plans, traditional indemnity insurance, consumer-directed plans, coverage for self-funded employers, plus health savings account (HSA) and pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services. Combined, the company provides health benefits and services to nearly 375,000 individuals in western New York and throughout the country. For more information, visit www.independenthealth.com.