Centene Corporation Announces Official Rollout of Specialty Companies as CenCorp Health Solutions

September 13, 2004 at 6:01 AM EDT

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 13, 2004--Centene Corporation(R) (NYSE:CNC) today announced the realignment of its Specialty Companies into a subsidiary company to be known as CenCorp Health Solutions(TM) (CenCorp), a multi-line, Medicaid focused specialty platform initially concentrated in the areas of behavioral health, nurse triage and pharmacy compliance. The Company also announced that Group Practice Affiliates, LLC (GPA), its specialty company subsidiary, has been renamed Cenpatico Behavioral Health (CBH). These changes will take effect immediately.

In addition to CBH, other CenCorp companies include NurseWise(R) and ScriptAssist, and report to John D. Tadich, Centene's Senior Vice President, Specialty Companies. Brian R. Butts serves as Vice President of Finance, CenCorp Health Solutions and Aron Halfin, M.D. is CenCorp's Vice President, Clinical Operations.

Though comprised of three companies, CenCorp has a dual focus -- behavioral health and care coordination. CenCorp's mission is to provide specialized health solutions to the complex problems faced by patients, healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies and distributors as well as payers in order to meet their health needs.

CenCorp's primary market is comprised of programs designated for Medicaid recipients, including CHIP, TANF and SSI and is funded by state and federal tax dollars. A secondary market segment is employer-sponsored benefit programs administered by health plans, insurers or third-party administrators.

John Tadich stated, "Typically, 40 percent of the SSI population's treatment costs are directly related to behavioral health. We believe we can partner with the states to move more of these patients into managed Medicaid programs and produce demonstrated cost savings through a more comprehensive coordination of care."

Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Centene Corporation, added, "In addition to working with the states, our specialty businesses, which have an arms length relationship with our Centene subsidiaries, will offer programs to other health plans and providers. This strategy will further enhance positive outcomes for our members and the predictability of our business model."

CenCorp's corporate offices are located in St. Louis, Missouri. CBH is headquartered in Austin, Texas while ScriptAssist's administrative offices are located in Denver, Colorado. NurseWise's administrative offices are also headquartered in Denver and its national call center is located in El Paso, Texas.

About CenCorp Health Solutions

Cenpatico Behavioral Health provides managed behavioral healthcare for the health plans in Indiana, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. CBH applies its behavioral expertise in Arizona by operating programs for emotionally or behaviorally challenged students on regular school campuses.

NurseWise is a 24-hour, toll-free phone line through which callers can reach both customer service representatives and bilingual nursing staff. The nurse triage service provides access to a broad range of health-related services including health education, urgent pharmacy refills, and transportation for treatment and crisis interventions.

ScriptAssist is a treatment adherence program that uses registered nurses to counsel and motivate at-risk patients about the reasons for taking the medications and according to the regimen they were prescribed. In addition, ScriptAssist personnel provide accurate information about the side effects and risks of specific medications and keep physicians informed of every patient's products between visits.

About Centene Corporation

Centene Corporation provides multi-line managed care programs and related services to individuals receiving benefits under Medicaid, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Company operates health plans in Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. In addition, the Company contracts with other healthcare organizations to provide specialty services including behavioral health, nurse triage and pharmacy compliance. Information regarding Centene is available via the Internet at www.centene.com.


    CONTACT: Centene Corporation
             Michael F. Neidorff, 314-725-4477
             or
             Lisa Wilson, 212-759-3929

    SOURCE: Centene Corporation