Business

New KPS vice president has his work cut out for him

"David Peel has his work cut out for him. As the new vice president of finance for Kitsap Physicians Service, Peel will have his eye on one thing: the bottom line.My goal is to stabilize the business, Peel said. Prior to starting at KPS last month, Peel was the chief financial officer for Seattle's First Choice Health Network, the largest preferred provider organization in the Northwest with 64,000 members. KPS has about 40,000 members. Peel said his responsibilities in his new job are similar to those at his old job. His focus at KPS, as it was at First Choice, is to make sure the budget is met and to not lose money.I am a money man, Peel said. I believe in offering a good product at a fair price.The decision to take the new job was not difficult for Peel, despite KPS' well-known financial troubles. Peel said he was impressed with KPS' reputation in the community and among other insurance providers.(KPS President) Elizabeth (Gilje) is well-respected and KPS has a good reputation with customer service and fair pricing, Peel said. Peel said he welcomes the challenge of getting a company on its feet, despite the risks.In most start-ups (or turnarounds), there is a risk, Peel said. I would like to be known as the one of the key people who established KPS again.A turnaround is definitely happening at KPS, which was placed in receivership (or state financial control) by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner last year. At the close of the first quarter of this year, KPS reported profits for the first time since 1996. Peel said his short-term goal is to get KPS to show a monthly profit and to keep its membership stable.An Arizona native, Peel noted a deeper sense of community in Washington and that he looks forward to being part of the community that has backed KPS.It's unusual to have this much support behind a corporation, Peel said. Although Peel has only been at work about two weeks, he already seems confident of the company's turnaround.There is a good team involved and it's going to be very enjoyable for me, Peel said. We know it's going to be successful."

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