David L. Holmberg, President and CEO, Highmark Health and Chairman of the Board, Highmark Inc.

David L. Holmberg

President and CEO, Highmark Health and Chairman of the Board, Highmark Inc.

Back to Leadership page

David L. Holmberg is president and chief executive officer of Highmark Health, a $27.1 billion blended health organization that includes one of America's largest Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers and a growing regional hospital and physician network. Based in Pittsburgh, PA, Highmark Health's 44,000 employees serve millions of customers nationwide through the nonprofit organization's affiliated businesses, including Highmark Inc., Allegheny Health Network, HM Insurance

Holmberg is shaping the future of the healthcare industry by engaging with trade associations, regulators, peer organizations, strategic partners, and government to resolve critical health care issues. In 2016, Highmark Health sued the U.S. government in federal claims court, resulting in a 2020 Supreme Court ruling that affirmed that the federal government must fulfill its promises to preserve the trust that ensures the successful of public-private partnerships, including the ACA marketplace.

Holmberg joined Highmark Inc. in 2007 and served in a series of executive positions, including president of its Diversified Businesses, where he was responsible for businesses representing more than $3.5 billion in revenue, chief executive officer for HVHC Inc. and chief executive officer and chairman for HM Insurance Group, United Concordia Dental and San Antonio, Texas-based Visionworks, which was divested in 2016 for $1.6 billion.

Under Holmberg's leadership, Highmark Health successfully navigated the tumultuous post-ACA years as well as the financial turnaround of Allegheny Health Network (AHN), which was nearing bankruptcy when it was acquired by Highmark Inc. in 2013. In 2019, Holmberg successfully negotiated an agreement with the Pennsylvania Attorney General to provide residents of western Pennsylvania with continued access to the region’s two leading health systems.

In early 2020, Highmark Health's financial strength and stability enabled the rapid deployment of more than $1.4 billion in resources needed to diagnose, treat, and support the organization’s members and patients through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite national challenges including inflation and staffing, Holmberg has overseen Highmark Health's consistently strong consolidated financial performance—proving the success of the blended health and diversified business model. During his tenure, the organization has grown from $15 billion in revenue in 2013 to $27 billion in 2023.

Holmberg has also expanded the footprint of the organization's insurance markets to western and central New York and southeastern Pennsylvania, while also growing the government business segment. Allegheny Health Network has also grown to include 14 hospitals in western Pennsylvania and five multi-specialty medical malls.

Holmberg is investing to build a better-connected ecosystem for health, coverage and care, designed to improve the consumer and clinician experience. In 2022, Highmark Health launched My Highmark, a first-of-its-kind health platform providing seamless care navigation, shared care plans, virtual and digital health, simplified bill payment, and cost transparency to Highmark’s 7 million members.

Board of Director Affiliations:

  • Chairman, Highmark Inc., the Blue-branded health insurance affiliate of Highmark Health
  • Chairman, The Allegheny Conference on Community Development
  • Allegheny Health Network
  • VSP Vision
  • The National Institute for Healthcare Management Foundation
  • The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
  • Former Chairman, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) (Jan. 2022 – Jan. 2024)
  • Former Chairman, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) (Nov. 2019 - Nov. 2021)

Thought Leadership Topics:

Experience is Everything

  • Holmberg advocates for a personalized approach to health that brings the best of retail experiences, like shopping or banking, to health care.
  • If we get experience right, both individuals and clinicians will be more engaged and proactive, and that's the most effective and sustainable way to improve health outcomes and reduce overall costs.
  • Holmberg is focused on meeting consumers where they are, including through accelerating digital/virtual capabilities as well as expanding facilities and care access closer to—and into—the home.

Building Integrated Transformational Business Models

  • As former CEO of VisionWorks and Davis Vision, Holmberg developed a unified insurance-provider-manufacturing-retail model that serves as the prototype for the vertically integrated payer-provider model at Highmark Health today.
  • This transformational model has reached its height in western Pennsylvania, where Highmark Health owns both the payer and provider capabilities.
  • This integrated system means data-sharing, predictive analytics, value-based approaches and more.

Making Allies out of Adversaries

  • A better health experience requires closer collaboration and alignment across legacy silos like “payer” and "provider."
  • Holmberg embraces disruptors and believes even established players need to be willing to disrupt their own business models to address industry challenges.
  • Partnerships vs. M&A: Highmark Health doesn't need to own everything — Highmark Health partnerships include Google Cloud, League, Penn State Health, and ChristianaCare, among others.



Contact us to arrange an interview

Aaron Billger

Highmark Health


Email Aaron

Leilyn Perri

Highmark Health


Email Leilyn