Qliance Medical Names Erika Bliss New CEO

10/10/11Follow @xconomy

Seattle-based Qliance Medical Management, the company Jeff Bezos, Michael Dell and Drew Carey have supported to deliver primary care medical services in a new way, has shuffled around its executive team.

Erika Bliss, one of the primary care physicians who founded Qliance in 2006, has been promoted to become president and CEO, while co-founder Norm Wu is stepping aside to become a “strategic advisor” concentrating on partnerships and other growth initiatives, the company said today in a statement.

Qliance runs what it calls a “direct primary care practice” in downtown Seattle, which doesn’t accept any health insurance and deals directly with patients. The patient hands over a credit card, and agrees to pay a $49 to $89 monthly membership fee to Qliance for unrestricted access to its primary care medical services. The model allows Qliance to avoid spending its time doing things to get insurers to pay for primary care, which frees up the doctors to spend more time with individual patients. Qliance said in August that it is adding two new clinics to its network, in Tacoma and Mill Creek, WA. The company has raised more than $13.5 million since its inception, from a number of big name investors, including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Michael Dell of Dell Computer, the comedian Drew Carey, Nick Hanauer of Second Avenue Partners, and former Zillow CEO Rich Barton.

Dr. Bliss attended UC San Diego medical school, and got further training at Swedish Family Medicine in Seattle. She said she plans to continue to see patients as she takes on the added business responsibility of being Qliance CEO.

“I’m honored to be taking the reins, and grateful to Norm for his exemplary work in bringing Qliance from a small startup to a regional network of clinics poised for major growth. I’m committed to making sure the direct primary care model becomes the premiere model for primary care in America, and to operate practices that share a common philosophy and commitment to putting the patient first,” Bliss said in a statement.

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