CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Michael Drescher has been named the director of network communications for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. In this newly created position, Drescher will play a key role in facilitating communication between providers, medical groups and key stakeholders.

Drescher will assess and analyze the communication process and work flow between BlueCross and the provider community. He will be responsible for seeking improvement opportunities in communication processes that support matters relating to health care reform, payment innovations and the insurance exchange. Drescher will also take an active lead in working with provider organizations such as the Tennessee Hospital Association and the Tennessee Medical Association along with other stakeholder entities.

“A key goal for BlueCross is to deliver the best medical value to our members,” said Mark Austin, senior vice president of provider network management for BlueCross. “To accomplish this we need cooperation with a wide range of representatives from across the health care industry, especially as we move toward more collaborative efforts like accountable care organizations. Michael is just the person to bring these key groups together.”

Prior to BlueCross, Drescher worked in both the private and public sectors. In the public sector he served as the communications director for former Governor Phil Bredesen as well as the director of public affairs for the Bureau of TennCare. In the private sector he has held leadership positions at public relations firms such as McNeely, Pigott & Fox as well as the Ingram Group.

While serving on the staff of former Governor Phil Bredesen, Drescher was responsible for the communication efforts within 21 executive branch state agencies. In addition, he coordinated the governor’s communications activities, messages and public events across the state.

Most recently, Drescher worked for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Tennessee where he served as vice president of account management. There, he was responsible for overseeing public policy activities and participating in regulatory functions with state agencies. In addition, he cultivated and managed relationships with stakeholder and professional organizations.

Drescher earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kentucky. He is also the founding chairman and former board member of Leadership Healthcare, a professional development group with more than 650 members formed in partnership with Nashville Healthcare Council. He currently serves on the board of directors for Books from Birth of Middle Tennessee.

Drescher will be based out of the Nashville office and will work with key stakeholders statewide.

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.