BATON ROUGE, La. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has promoted Paula Shepherd, an attorney who has held various roles with the insurer for the past 20 years, to its senior management team. Shepherd became senior vice president – Benefit Operations effective June 1. The position had been vacant after the previous senior vice president retired at the end of 2020.
Shepherd reports directly to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bryan Camerlinck. As head of Benefit Operations, she oversees the largest division within Blue Cross, which includes the Customer Service Operations, Enrollment and Billing, Claims Operations, Core Systems Configuration and Operational Reporting, and Divisional Budget, Contracting and Planning departments. Staff in this division often play a direct role in working with customers to help them find answers about their healthcare coverage and make it easy to get the care they need. Each year, team members answer millions of calls, process tens of millions in healthcare claims and issue billions of dollars in benefits.
In her two-decade career at Blue Cross, Shepherd has held numerous positions, most recently as vice president – Claims Operations. While in this role, she provided direction for Blue Cross’ claims processing and payment services and served as plan lead for the in-state Federal Employee Program account. Shepherd has collaborated with her fellow vice presidents in this division to ensure consistent quality and efficiency in member services and healthcare benefits processing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recently, she has lent her voice to internal and external conversations on diversity, social justice and the “Get The Facts, Get the Vax” outreach campaign in partnership with 100 Black Men. Shepherd, who is head of the African American employee group at Blue Cross, has co-hosted two Facebook Live events on the importance of minority and underserved populations having access to the COVID-19 vaccine. These broadcasts have gotten thousands of views.
Shepherd began her career at Blue Cross as a Hospital, Dental & Medicare claims manager. She worked her way up through Membership and Billing, being promoted to lead the insurer’s Medicare Part D enrollment team. Then, as director of Appeals, Grievances and Provider Disputes, her strong skills for process improvement helped Blue Cross quickly achieve compliance with various regulatory and accreditation requirements. Shepherd also has served as senior legal counsel and corporate remediation officer, roles in which she addressed operational issues and resolved legal situations.
Shepherd earned her law degree from Southern University Law Center. She also earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from Southern University. She has a Diversity and Inclusion Certificate from Cornell University. Shepherd also is a co-pastor of Philadelphia Christian Ministries.
A complete list of Blue Cross’ leadership team is on the company’s website, www.bcbsla.com.
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About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We were recognized in 2019 and 2020 as an honoree of The Civic 50, named by Points of Light as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media.