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Minneapolis health insurer UCare hires new chief medical officer

In his post at UCare, Dr. Russel Kuzel will direct the insurer’s efforts in quality improvement, disease and high-risk population management, care management and clinical pharmacy management.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — Nonprofit health insurer UCare has hired a new chief medical officer who held the same position at a Wisconsin health maintenance organization.

In his post at UCare, Dr. Russel Kuzel will direct the insurer’s efforts in quality improvement, disease and high-risk population management, care management and clinical pharmacy management. He’ll also offer physician oversight and manage relationships with contracted care systems, according to a statement from UCare. Kuzel began working in his new role on Jan. 19.

Since 2007, Kuzel was chief medical officer for Security Health Plan, an HMO based in Marshfield, Wis. In that role, he was responsible for a number of administrative, financial, operational and quality management areas, and also served as the plan’s liaison with state and regional medical societies, according to the statement.

Kuzel succeeds Dr. Barry Baines, who  remains with UCare as an associate medical director.

UCare provides health coverage to about 200,000 members and specializes in government-sponsored health plans.