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Centene's Medicare CFO promoted to segment CEO - Healthcare Dive

Dive Brief:

  • Centene has promoted Rich Fisher from CFO to senior vice president and CEO of its Medicare business, the company announced. 

  • Fisher joined Centene through its 2019 acquisition of WellCare , a government-sponsored health insurance company. Fisher joined WellCare in 2006 as a financial analyst, and has since served in a variety of financial leadership roles. He has been CFO of Centene's Medicare division for four years.

  • As CEO of Centene's Medicare business, Fisher will oversee strategy, product development, sales and operations. He will report to Brent Layton, president of the company's U.S. health plans, products, and international business.

Dive Insight:

Centene focuses on promoting internal talent to leadership roles before conducting outside searches, Layton said in a statement. "[Fisher's] expertise and leadership will be invaluable as we continue to grow our Medicare business and deliver on our commitments to our 2021 priorities."

Fisher is not the first former WellCare executive to take a high-ranking position at Centene. Following the $17.6 billion acquisition, WellCare’s CEO Ken Burdick became the combined company's executive vice president of national markets and products, and WellCare CFO Drew Asher became executive vice president of the specialty division. In May 2021, Asher was promoted to CFO of Centene.

News of Fisher's promotion came weeks after Centene reported a $535 million loss for the second quarter, alongside a quarter of "healthy growth" for its Medicare business, with a 25% increase in membership since the top of the year. 

"Medicaid and Medicare are performing very well and are continuing to normalize in line with our expectations," chairman and CEO Michael Neidorff told analysts last month , adding a warning that the delta variant is causing a new wave of the pandemic. "It remains clear that the pandemic is not over, and the environment could remain choppy for the balance of the year."