Justin Leitzen was well prepared for his latest role as CEO of ProviDRs Care, an MSSC subsidiary and Kansas’ only physician-owned and managed PPO network.
He took on the lead role in January following the retirement of Karen Cox, who had served as CEO since 2009. When Leitzen joined ProviDRs Care the first time in 2013, he served as director of contracting and network development. When he rejoined the organization in 2017, he was in charge of network innovation, which transitioned to chief operating officer in 2020.
He’s seen the network double in size from roughly 6,000 providers in 2013 to more than 15,000 today. He’s played a role in expanding the organization’s profile into northeast Kansas and helped build upon the company’s traditional PPO structure to grow a robust value-based framework with groundbreaking products centered on cost-effective health services and alternative payment models.
It’s that malleability that attracts Leitzen, the ability for ProviDRs Care to strategically evolve over time and meet new challenges head on.
“I like our organization being nimble and being able to develop innovative solutions for employers,” Leitzen said. “We work very closely with physicians and I enjoy that aspect as well.”
ProviDRs Care leases its network to self-funded plans and insurance carriers. It serves as the statewide PPO network for three insurance carriers and 28 third-party administrators.
Leitzen said these relationships are key to his organization’s success. “Our success is contingent on continuing to develop our relationships with the physician and provider community, as well as the employer and broker community.”
So where is the organization headed under his leadership? Leitzen said his big focus this year is expanding these relationships, particularly in the broker community, and growing the value-based benefits offerings throughout the state. Leitzen said he’s also working on innovative ways to partner with physicians in the community.
“We want to help them to be successful in these types of arrangements,” he said.
That includes working closely with brokers to introduce new models of care in different areas throughout Kansas, to develop strong community models. He would look at adjusting ProviDRs Care products based on the needs of employers and providers in a community.
“It’s about putting things into place that keeps care local,” Leitzen said. “We really want to look to find different ways to partner with physicians within the community and expand those opportunities in the future, helping them succeed in valued-based models, maybe partnering with them on innovative, alternative-payment models.”