Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Cleve Killingsworth '75

Health-care CEO seeks collaborative solution to excess costs.

Cleve Killingsworth ‘75 envisions better health care for more people. At a time when more than 40 million U.S. residents lack health insurance, the president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts believes that the real problem-and its solutions-lies with skyrocketing costs.

Cleve Killingsworth ‘75 applies rigorous analysis to health care. (Courtesy of the Alumni Association.)

“It has been estimated that at least 30 percent of the $1.9 trillion spent on health care annually in the United States is wasted through medical errors, misuse, and overuse,” says Killingsworth. “That’s outrageous, especially when you consider that so many people cannot get the health care they need.”

This story is part of the July/August 2006 Issue of the MIT News Magazine
See the rest of the issue
Subscribe

The solution, he says, requires collaboration. So he works with a cross section of industry players – hospitals, physicians, and other insurers – on initiatives that, for example, stem prescription errors and unnecessary surgeries. “Not only do needless procedures waste money, they also carry risks,” he says. “America must learn that quality care is not about more care-it’s about receiving evidence-based, proven medicine.”

The rigorous analytic habits underlying his convictions about health care were instilled at MIT. “In many ways, MIT is the single most important reason I have been able to take my career in this direction,” says Killingsworth, who earned an SB in management at MIT and an MPH from Yale in 1976. “I had to work very hard at MIT, but through that difficult experience, I became grounded in a fact-based approach for thinking about the world.”

He also finds collaborative strength through the Executive Leadership Council, an independent nonprofit that he helped found in 1986. The ELC provides African-American executives with guidance, camaraderie, and networking opportunities. The group’s first meeting was moving, he says. “There was a lot of energy and power in that experience for all of us. The ELC decries the notion that there are only a few of us out here.” Indeed, the organization’s 400-plus members, all top executives, represent more than 200 of the country’s largest corporations.

Killingsworth’s wife, Daren Chentow, also values helping people. The retired IT executive coaches teenage girls at the Spectrum Unit of the Massachusetts Facility for Youth Corrections in Dorchester. Killingsworth and Chentow, who live in Chestnut Hill, MA, have four children.

Become an MIT Technology Review Insider for in-depth analysis and unparalleled perspective.

Subscribe today
Next in MIT News
Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Bimonthly print magazine (6 issues per year)

    Bimonthly digital/PDF edition

    Access to the magazine PDF archive—thousands of articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips

    Special interest publications

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Special discounts to select partner offerings

    Ad-free web experience

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.