Back to Leadership page
Deborah Rice-Johnson is CEO of Diversified Businesses for Highmark Inc. and chief growth officer. She is an innovative health leader, driven by a passion for reinventing health care experiences and pioneering provider relationships designed to keep care close to home and change antiquated reimbursement methods. Through diverse and inventive relationships ranging from joint ventures to equity interest partnerships, she has spearheaded affiliations and clinical alliances with Penn State Health, Geisinger Health System, Lehigh Valley and many regionally-based health care providers.
As CEO of Diversified Businesses, she is responsible for Highmark subsidiaries including: United Concordia Dental, the sixth largest dental plan nationally that serves the largest voluntary dental program in the world with TRICARE; HM Insurance Group, a top ten national stop loss carrier with additional managed care reinsurance solutions; and Helion, a healthcare technology and services firm that helps payers cultivate high-performing networks while empowering providers to operate at their best.
As chief growth officer, Ms. Rice-Johnson is responsible for pursuing a range of strategic partnerships, affiliations and acquisitions that enables Highmark Health to unlock the shared value to organizations and transform healthcare. Together, we will realize the potential of a Living Health model, which creates a better system for customers and clinicians through innovative solutions and partnerships while strengthening community-based care, improving health outcomes and lowering costs for members.
In her previous role as president of Highmark Inc., Ms. Rice-Johnson provided senior leadership and strategic direction for the company’s multi-state health insurance organization. During this time, she guided Highmark through successful affiliations in Delaware, West Virginia, Western and Northeastern New York, as well as a merger in Northeastern Pennsylvania. As a result, Highmark Health Plans are now among the largest Blue Plans in the country, serving more than 6 million members and Highmark Inc. revenue has grown to approximately $20 billion.
Ms. Rice-Johnson has more than 30 years of experience in the health insurance industry. Her leadership has not only redefined the payer-provider relationship and yielded unparalleled financial performance, but she has also delivered innovative clinical solutions that aim to improve health outcomes. She is also keenly committed to positively impacting the employment situation of our nation’s military veterans and those with disabilities through championing private-sector hiring efforts.
Ms. Rice-Johnson holds a bachelor's degree in business management from Carlow University. In 2014 she was named a Carlow Laureate, the university's most prestigious alumni award recognizing those whose work, thought, and action demonstrate the highest standards of professional accomplishment and leadership.
Current Board affiliations:
Thought Leadership Topics:
Creating community-based networks of care
Forging innovative payer-provider partnerships
Improving health care affordability
Creating a remarkable health experience
Helping veterans reach their full potential
Delaware Business Times, April 2021: ChristianaCare, Highmark partner on preventative care venture
“Highmark has been engaged in joint ventures before that really tie the two organizations together in a way that is much more robust and we each will hold each other accountable for delivering results.”
Delaware Business Times, Forbes, March 2021: Highmark Completes Deal With HealthNow To Become Fourth-Largest Blue Cross Plan
“We look forward to bringing our resources, tools and advanced technologies to Western and Northeastern New York. With this affiliation, we begin our path forward to enhance customer and clinician engagement, create better health outcomes, control costs and improve affordability for members in Western and Northeastern New York.”
Health Evolution Webcast, August 2020: Accelerating Future Care Delivery Models
COVID-19 is fueling advocacy and demand for consumer centric care models that will require new uses of technologies, leveraging the right data, improving care coordination and continued innovative work after the pandemic.
Pittsburgh Business Times, July 2020: Deb Rice-Johnson discusses creating a remarkable health experience for customers
“Strategic partnerships and affiliations will allow us to invest in new capabilities for our Living Health model, and improve our cost competitiveness. That translates to better care, lower cost and greater access for our members.”
Disability Matters Radio Show: Highmark, Inc. Committed to Hiring People with Disabilities, November 2021
“People with disabilities bring their unique perspectives and experiences that help us better serve our communities and shape the solutions we bring to the marketplace.”
City and State PA, July 2021: Pennsylvania Healthcare Power 100
Named among Pennsylvania's top public officials, health care executives, innovators, academics, advocates, and activists who have steered the state's healthcare landscape and its plan for the future.
Pittsburgh Business Times: 2021 Power 100, January 2021
Named among Pittsburgh's most influential business leaders.
Highmark is a registered mark of Highmark Inc. © 2022 Highmark Inc., All Rights Reserved.
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield serves the 29 counties of western Pennsylvania and 13 counties of northeastern Pennsylvania. Highmark Blue Shield serves the 21 counties of central Pennsylvania and also provides services in conjunction with a separate health plan in southeastern Pennsylvania. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia serves the state of West Virginia plus Washington County. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware serves the state of Delaware. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York serves eight counties in Western New York and Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York serves 13 counties in Northeastern New York. Each of these companies is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Blue Cross, Blue Shield and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.
This page is not available for this ZIP code. Please enter your ZIP code or return to highmark.com.