Michigan Association of Health Plans

Priority Health Names New President

Priority Health welcomes Praveen Thadani as the company’s new president, effective in early January. The announcement comes after a rigorous search process for a leader of the third-largest provider-sponsored health plan in the country—serving over a million members annually.

“Praveen is a transformative health care leader with extensive industry experience and a passion for innovation and developing talent,” said Tina Freese Decker, President & CEO of Spectrum Health, the integrated system that includes Priority Health. “His commitment to building relationships with members, employers, agents and providers will help us maintain the momentum we have created as we continue working to provide affordable access to care and have a positive impact on the communities we serve.”

Thadani’s 25-year health care career includes experience managing consumer, commercial and government health plan products. Thadani brings a passion for transforming the industry along with a successful background in services and programs that manage medical cost, development of value-based provider programs, new product development, plan innovation and unique market programs. Early in his career, Thadani helped develop a patented insurance platform—Interactive Health Insurance System—that was designed to activate consumer decision-making at the point of service.

“Priority Health is a nationally recognized health plan with innovative products, digital solutions and a strong leadership team,” said Thadani. “I’ve admired the work of Priority Health for many years, particularly its focus as a nonprofit company with a commitment to lowering the cost of care while focused on leveraging digital solutions, analytics and integration to drive more personalized experiences that improve the health of the community. I am honored to have been selected for this role and am excited about collaborating to achieve the vision of personalized health made simple, affordable and exceptional.”

Prior to joining Priority Health, Thadani held a variety of leadership roles with Humana, most recently serving as senior vice president of strategy, product and medical cost. In this role, Thadani was responsible for leading strategic planning for multiple lines of business. Thadani led a multi-year commercial strategy that resulted in significant growth for the company, as well as the launch of a variety of innovative new programs and partnerships. Thadani’s experience also includes more than 12 years with UnitedHealth Group and Optum where he held multiple roles encompassing strategy, growth, operations and integrations. Thadani further rounded his experiences with consulting, public health and provider experiences.

Thadani completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois. He also earned a Master of Science in Health Systems Management from Rush University.

“I’m confident Praveen’s leadership, broad experience and appreciation for our integrated system will allow us to continue our excellent service and grow our membership,” said Michael Sytsma, board chair, Priority Health. “I believe that our thorough, national search to select the next president of Priority Heath has helped us identify a great leader in Praveen that will build on the success the company has already achieved.”

Freese Decker partnered with the Furst Group to conduct a national search for the president of Priority Health. The Furst Group is ranked as one of Modern Healthcare’s 10 largest healthcare executive search firms and one of America’s Best Executive Search Firms by Forbes.

Joan Budden has served as president and CEO of Priority Health since 2016 and is recognized for her many contributions to the company and community. She will remain active in her current role until she begins her retirement on January 1, 2021.