UPMC Health Plan


Denise Hughes
UPMC Health Plan


UPMC Health Plan Psychiatrist Promoted to Chief Medical Officer

Dr. James Schuster’s physical and behavioral health expertise will help drive UPMC Insurance Services’ continued focus on clinical excellence and value-based innovation

Pittsburgh (April 13, 2021) – UPMC Insurance Services today announced that James Schuster, MD, MBA, has been appointed, effective April 6, as Chief Medical Officer of the organization.

Dr. Schuster has served for more than 20 years as part of UPMC Insurance Services clinical leadership, most recently as Associate Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President, Medical and Behavioral Services and Chief Medical Officer of Community Care Behavioral Health Organization.

In these roles, Dr. Schuster provided leadership for medical services as well as strategies that integrate approaches to medical and behavioral health. Dr. Schuster is also responsible for overseeing the UPMC Center for High-Value Health Care, which has a broad research portfolio on a variety of themes, including integrated care, shared decision making, and treatment for opioid use disorders. He has served as a principal investigator on several of the Center’s awards.

“We are fortunate to have an excellent physician leader in Dr. Schuster, and we look forward to his expanded leadership role helping UPMC Insurance Services continue to build upon our commitment to clinical innovation and exceptional care for our members,” said Diane Holder, President and CEO, UPMC Health Plan.

Dr. Schuster earned his MD from the University of Louisville and his MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, where he completed his residency in psychiatry and now serves as a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry. He is board certified in psychiatry and in the subspecialties of geriatric and addiction psychiatry.

“I am honored and excited about this new opportunity to continue to help UPMC Health Plan move forward with evidence-driven, value-based approaches to health care delivery and coverage,” said Dr. Schuster. “Recent events have shown us just how important access to high-quality health care is, and I look forward to advancing UPMC Health Plan’s ongoing commitment to meeting this need across all of our insurance coverage options.”

Dr. Schuster was appointed in 2020 by the Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), to the Governing Board of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)—a government-funded organization that funds research to inform evidence-based, patient-focused health care policy.


About UPMC Insurance Services

Serving 4 million members, UPMC Insurance Services is owned and operated by UPMC, a world-renowned health care provider and insurer based in Pittsburgh, Pa. UPMC Insurance Services includes commercial products from UPMC Health Plan for groups as well as individuals. Commercial products also include workers' compensation and employee assistance from nationally known Workpartners.® Government products include Medicare Advantage (UPMC for Life); special needs plans for those eligible for Medicare and Medical Assistance (UPMC for Life Complete Care and UPMC Community HealthChoices); Medical Assistance (UPMC for You); and Children's Health Insurance Program (UPMC for Kids). Community Care Behavioral Health, one of the nation's largest nonprofit managed care behavioral health organizations, offers a full range of services to Commercial and Medical Assistance members. For more information, visit upmchealthplan.com.