BCBS of North Carolina, Cambia officially end merger talks

A proposed combination of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and Cambia Health Solutions is officially off, boards of the organizations said Oct. 11.

The insurers said their boards "jointly agreed to end their pursuit of an affiliation by mutually terminating their affiliation contract," according to The Wall Street Journal. The insurers paused their deal Sept. 24 and withdrew regulatory applications for the deal Sept. 27 after more information surfaced about the arrest of BCBSNC's CEO Patrick Conway, MD. Dr. Conway was set to lead the combined entity.

Dr. Conway was charged and later found guilty of driving while impaired and misdemeanor child abuse after a car crash in June. He resigned Sept. 26 at the request of BCBSNC's board, which had initially faced criticism for supporting Dr. Conway and keeping the incident under wraps.

A combined BCBSNC and Cambia, which operates Regence-branded BCBS plans in Oregon, Utah, Idaho and Washington, would have generated about $16 billion in annual revenue and covered more than 6 million members, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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