CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee announces the promotion of Mark Austin to senior vice president of network management.

“Mark brings his vast working knowledge of health care operations and years of experience at BlueCross to the division of provider networks and contracting,” said Dr. Steven Coulter, senior vice president and chief medical officer for BlueCross. “This knowledge coupled with Mark’s problem-solving abilities will enhance our efforts to build and maintain networks that provide the greatest value to our members while improving service to our providers.”

In his new role, Austin will report directly to Coulter and oversee all activities concerning the structure and design of the company’s provider networks, including contract negotiations with hospitals, facilities, ancillary providers, and physician groups.

Additional responsibilities will include oversight of medical and reimbursement information management, as well as provider credentialing, administration, and support services.

Austin joined BlueCross in 1979. His most recent position was that of vice president for BlueCare administration, and president and CEO of Volunteer State Health Plan, where he was responsible for the overall day-to-day operations of the TennCare program for BlueCross.

Austin holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Austin and his wife, Cindy, have two daughters.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.