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Koller makes the big time

February 8, 2011

Image from Governing magazine

Congrats to Health Insurance Commissioner Chris Koller who made the cover of Governing magazine this month. The article calls him the only insurance commissioner in the nation  devoted entirely to regulating  health insurance.

If you’ve been following Koller’s work, most of this article covers familiar territory about his efforts to increase investments in primary care and manage contracts between hospitals and insurance plans. And If you know Koller, this paragraph also won’t surprise you-

The first thing that strikes you about Koller is his height — he’s 6′ 7″. The second is his wonkiness. Koller, age 49, first got interested in health-care policy as a junior at Dartmouth College. His undergraduate thesis compared and contrasted the case mix indices of for-profit and nonprofit hospitals.

Yep, analyzing case mix indices as an undergrad sounds about right for Koller, who seems to geek out over health care minutiae that makes most people’s eyes glaze over.

James Purcell, the CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, says the state is “probably the most heavily regulated insurance industry in the country” largely because of Koller’s work.  What do you think -are we better off for his interventions?

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