UPHP taps Bicigo as operating officer


MARQUETTE — Upper Peninsula Health Plan has named Melanie Bicigo as its chief operating officer.

Long-time UPHP President and CEO Dennis Smith announced his retirement late last year, effective July 1, starting a series of moves at UPHP.

Melissa Holmquist was named Smith’s successor as CEO, leaving the position of chief operating officer vacant. With extensive health plan experience, Bicigo brings knowledge and leadership to the chief operating officer position.

A native of Crystal Falls, Bicigo is a Northern Michigan University alumna. Chief operating officer will be the ninth position Bicigo has had within the company in her 16-year tenure.

Most recently, she served as the compliance and risk management officer, responsible for execution and oversight of UPHP’s corporate compliance program and managing risk exposure. Bicigo implemented initiatives to match the health care regulatory environment and achieve organizational compliance.

In her role as COO, Bicigo will report to newly appointed president and CEO Holmquist. She will now oversee these departments: government programs, physician services, credentialing, customer services and reception. “I am honored to have been offered this opportunity and to be part of the new leadership at the Upper Peninsula Health Plan,” Bicigo said.

Bicigo was the first full-time compliance officer and built that department from scratch. Her attention to detail and focus on process improvement will be valuable assets to her as chief operating officer.

“Melanie brings a wealth of experience in compliance, claims, and enrollment to the chief operating officer position. She has served as an instrumental member of the senior management team for the past five years and is uniquely qualified to help UPHP deliver coordinated, high-quality care,” Holmquist said.

Upper Peninsula Health Plan serves more than 47,000 people with five product lines — Michigan Medicaid, MIChild, Children with Special Health Care Services, MI Health Link and Medicare Advantage — and its network exceeds 2,000 providers.