After graduating with a degree in public relations decades ago from Mount Mercy University in Iowa, Scott Lynch found a claims job at the St. Paul Companies. While working in the firm’s Denver and Los Angeles offices, he collaborated with attorneys on malpractice claims and began to consider a legal career.
“I thought ‘I’m going to give law school a shot,’” Lynch says. “I’ve loved it ever since. I was fortunate to discover law because before that I didn’t know what I wanted to do.”
Lynch has had a long career as an attorney and general counsel, including stints at Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly, Prime Therapeutics and Novartis Consumer Health before joining Blue Cross Blue Shield in 2007 as the chief legal officer and senior vice president. He manages 13 attorneys and more than 250 employees.
One of the most significant issues he dealt with in his career focused on a case against the federal government involving reimbursements for high-risk patients using the Affordable Care Act to help pay for insurance. Blue Cross Blue Shield lost more than $500 million after the federal government failed to honor its reimbursement obligations, Lynch said.
The company sued the federal government in a case that reached the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015. The court ruled in favor of Blue Cross Blue Shield, allowing it to recover $250 million. The suit and Lynch’s career at the company reflect how intertwined legal and regulatory issues are with the business side of health care, he said.
Lynch, who serves on the Academy of Holy Angels and Innovative Blood Resources boards, lost his wife and sister to cancer. “I’ve made a sincere effort to change things for the better, and that’s been fulfilling for me,” he says.
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