Stakeholder report 2021
CareSource President/CEO Erhardt Preitauer stands in his office

President's Page

A Conversation with Erhardt Preitauer, CareSource President & CEO

As President and CEO of CareSource, Erhardt Preitauer leads a nonprofit managed care plan provider that’s nationally recognized as an industry leader in providing member-centric health care coverage to over 2 million people in five states. Erhardt is an accomplished health care executive with a track record of driving significant growth, profitability, innovation and operational excellence. He has extensive experience in building and leading mission-driven health care organizations. This experience and leadership would be leveraged as he led CareSource and our members through one of the most unpredictable and ultimately transformative years in our organization’s history.

CareSource President and CEO Erhardt Preitauer explains how 2020 helped define CareSource as a company.

CEO Today Healthcare Award Winner // In 2020, Erhardt Preitauer was recognized by CEO Today Magazine Healthcare Awards, honoring the most respected executives and their companies who lead their field on a global stage.

What makes CareSource different?
Erhardt: It all starts with our mission. You can feel the sense of mission here. It’s palpable. We’re proud that CareSource runs toward problems that others run from. We focus on some of the most challenging, highest-need populations, and, because we’re the largest multi-state nonprofit in the country focused on government programs, we make decisions very differently than our competition. We’re happy to make decisions that go years out in terms of driving quality, looking at the whole person and addressing social issues. When we put that all together, there’s no other company like this CareSource in the industry today.

How has CareSource adapted in the last year, and why is that important to you?
Erhardt: Going through something like this really tests the resiliency of an organization – especially in the line of work that we’re in. Many of our CareSource associates unfortunately had to deal with the challenges of COVID at home and then had to respond to it professionally as well. That dynamic meant a lot of adapting for our organization. Before COVID, we had a very aggressive agenda: creating class-leading clinical systems and technology, bringing in new people and growing our organization. But the pandemic necessitated another set of critical new initiatives as an organization. That is a direct reflection of how special our employees are. We have heart and soul but we can drive and execute as well. When I think about having to adapt like that and still move our agenda in health care transformation, I can’t help but be proud of all we accomplished.

CareSource has a unique approach to special populations. Why do you feel we are so uniquely equipped to serve special populations?
Erhardt: Special populations are a big part of our strategy as an organization and something I’ve been especially focused on throughout my entire career. The people that have the most complex needs are the ones that need the most help. How can we really deliver great value and quality and help people move forward in their lives regardless of how complex their health situations are? It is a personal passion of mine, but it also takes an organization that thinks about the whole person – an organization that thinks longer term. I’ve learned that you cannot just look through a financial lens toward special populations. That’s why we have dedicated class-leading capabilities, technology, systems, and national experts on special populations. When you pair those assets with our mission and our legacy, we are uniquely positioned to serve these complex populations better than anyone else.

How does CareSource see providers as partners and how does that lead to better outcomes for our members?
Erhardt: Truly partnering with providers is key to our success in serving members. We’re extending relationships, providing analytics and advancing value-based care/pay models that create greater collaboration. At the same time, we’re delivering industry-leading performance. By streamlining credentialing, prior authorization and claims processing, our providers can focus more intently on improved health outcomes. CareSource has strong partnerships, joint ventures, ACOs and several different types of constructs where we are able to closely align with our provider-partners, and that takes a lot of complexity out of the system for those who need care. It allows us to team up and work together to deliver high quality health care. Some of our quality metrics are among the best in the country. This is a really big deal for us, and even more importantly, it’s a really big deal for our members.

What are you most excited about from CareSource in the future?
Erhardt: We’re still addressing the health challenges brought on by the pandemic, so we still have a lot of work to do. But above that, there’s going to be a lot more work because the pandemic has impacted people in a lot of different ways. From substance use disorder to behavioral health to complex care for special populations. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we also have an amazing organization with the best capabilities in the country. I believe that our limitations are really only our own constructs. We’re up for the challenge.