Centene Corporation Awarded Silver Honors for Best Practices in Health Management by URAC

April 7, 2009 at 8:05 AM EDT
Distribution of Cell Phones Ensures Real-Time Communications with Health Care Team
ST. LOUIS, Apr 07, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) was awarded Silver Honors for Health Management by leading healthcare accreditation organization, URAC. The honor was announced at the 2009 Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards Gala on April 1-2 in Orlando, Florida. The awards are designed to recognize innovative leadership and successful programs in consumer-focused health care management.

Centene identified the need for real-time communication as an essential part of healthcare, though some members do not have access to a safe and reliable telephone. To solve this problem, Centene developed Connections PLUS, a free, pre-programmed cell phone program developed for high-risk members who do not have steady access to a telephone. Those members include people with chronic healthcare conditions, who are at risk for premature birth, or who have social limitations or barriers that may negatively impact their healthcare outcomes.

"The members we serve are our top priority each and every day. Our Connections PLUS program allows us to connect with our most at-risk members who might not otherwise have access to a phone," said Mary Mason, M.D., Senior Vice President & Chief Medical Officer for Centene. "We are pleased that this secure and reliable two-way communication has allowed us to make a real difference in the lives of these members. For example, in a review of 75 Aged, Blind or Disabled members enrolled in the program, we found a 62% decrease in hospital admissions, a 65% decrease in days spent in the hospital and a 44% decrease in Emergency Room visits when comparing utilization before and after entering into the program."

Seventy submissions were evaluated by a 27-member panel of prestigious, independent judges including experts in program evaluation, care coordination, health information technology, employer and purchaser decision making and patient safety. Honors were awarded in six categories: Health Plans and Health Networks, Health Management, Health Information/Decision Support, Pharmacy Quality Management, Consumer Decision-Making, and Consumer Health Improvement.

"Our Best Practices awards program is a unique celebration of the best the health care industry has to offer. These companies have made a difference in the lives of consumers by implementing leading-edge programs with results that matter," said Alan P. Spielman, president and CEO of URAC. "At a time when health care reform is in the spotlight, achievements from companies like Centene are even more important."

About Centene Corporation

Centene Corporation is a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise that provides programs and related services to individuals receiving benefits under Medicaid, including the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD), Foster Care, Long-Term Care and Medicare (Special Needs Plans). The Company operates local health plans and offers a wide range of health insurance solutions to individuals and the rising number of uninsured Americans. It also contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide specialty services including behavioral health, life and health management, managed vision, telehealth services, pharmacy benefits management and medication adherence. Information regarding Centene is available via the Internet at www.centene.com.

SOURCE: Centene Corporation

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