Healthy and General

Ex-CEO of Independence Blue Cross Dan Hilferty launches

3 min read

Daniel J. Hilferty, fresh off leading the committee that won a bid to make Philadelphia a host city for the 2026 men’s World Cup, on Tuesday announced his next venture, Dune View Strategies, a health-care consulting firm.

Hilferty, the former president and chief executive of Independence Blue Cross and longtime Philadelphia civic leader, said he wants to help start-ups work through the inevitable thicket of relationships with health-care providers, insurers, and government.

The Inquirer spoke with Hilferty about his plans. His answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.

“My real passions are behavioral health and government programs. Under the category of behavioral health would be anything dealing with recovery [from substance-use disorders], anything that is bringing a telehealth component into mental health treatment that helps to break down stigma and get people real care.

I’ve always been fascinated, having run [Medicaid insurer] AmeriHealth Mercy, now AmeriHealth Caritas, in any type of technology, product, or service that makes care more accessible for Medicaid-eligible folks. And now, I’m getting interested in Medicare, as well.

Those would be the areas I’m looking to focus on and provide low-cost advising services for start-ups.”

“I am developing a faculty of folks who, like me, want to remain stimulated and involved. An example might be Joe Frick, my predecessor at Independence — nobody better to talk strategy and/or building a team. For the faculty, there will be an hourly payment, and we’ll certainly have some administrative component.

I do want to make a little money to sustain the thing, but I’m not looking for a salary per se. I’m looking for stimulation and looking for fun things that I want to get behind either financially in a small way or by helping them.”

“The investments will be mainly personal, and family and friends.

My son has a start-up called Project Manifesto, which helps mainly young people coming out of the throes of addiction who have gotten their life together, are involved in sober living, and have a sponsor, who begin to say what do they want to do with their lives.

We mentor them and help them to figure out their core values, their dreams, their experience, and their skill sets, and then arrive at what kind of career they’d like to pursue. Through my relationships and contacts — and through others’ relationships and contacts — we help them identify opportunities that fit that kind of profile. That’s a labor of love, because it’s my son.

A second one is a company called Healthpilot, which is a site and a platform that helps people, particularly elderly, identify their best Medicare Advantage plan. Think how complex that process is. It helps them and their advisers figure out what the best plan is for them.”

“Absolutely not. I’m going to invest with friends and family in things that interest me and that I think have an opportunity. If I were to advise them I wouldn’t be looking for a fee in that type of scenario.

But there will hopefully be other companies that can’t afford the big consulting houses that are just amazing and Independence relied on and other big companies relied on, but really want to get some help from seasoned professionals around everything from building a team to strategy to financing to networking to marketing.”

“Anything that I’m involved with, I make that very clear to Independence. Let’s say one of the companies wants to talk to Independence. If I have a financial interest in it, I’ll let Independence know that. If I’m advising, I’ll let them know that, and I am out. Independence can say they want to talk to them or not. It’s about disclosure, and then in no way, shape, or form trying to influence what Independence may or may not decide to do with an entity.”

“I was. I love service and government and politics. I thought about it, but the truth of the matter is I just don’t fit in this current environment, number one. I don’t think I could have won, number two. And, number three, at 65 years old, this is the type of thing that I want to do.”