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WellCare Of Georgia Integrates Behavioral Health Services

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 8:36am
The Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 16, 2013) - WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) today announced that as of Jan. 1, 2013, it has integrated all behavioral health services for WellCare Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids® members in Georgia.

In-sourcing of WellCare's behavioral health services, including those addressing mental health and substance abuse, and physical health care services will promote improved patient care, better clinical outcomes and enhanced cost management by integrating medical and behavioral care at the plan level and in the community.

"Bringing behavioral health in-house supports the goal of coordinated, patient-centered care by allowing us to more effectively treat the whole person," said David McNichols, WellCare of Georgia president. "We can better coordinate behavioral health needs with physical health care and social needs including housing, employment and family support systems. With a one-plan structure, our behavioral and medical staff will share development of care plans using standardized protocols and evidence-based guidelines that can be tailored to our member's needs."

In addition to working with traditional mental health providers to offer on-going training and educational tools, WellCare is partnering with its provider network to expand the use of community-based mental health centers in managing members' chronic, complex and psycho-social mental health needs. Community mental health centers can provide a continuum of services and innovative treatment options that serve to stabilize patients over the long term and reduce avoidable emergency and inpatient utilization.

Other key components of behavioral health integration include the use of best practices that are proven to promote member recovery and resiliency; data integration from all components of care to measure performance and drive clinical decisions, and; pay for performance metrics that support quality-driven utilization management models.

About WellCare Health Plans, Inc. WellCare Health Plans, Inc. provides managed care services targeted to government-sponsored health care programs, focusing on Medicaid and Medicare. Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare offers a variety of health plans for families, children, and the aged, blind and disabled, as well as prescription drug plans. The company serves approximately 2.6 million members nationwide as of Sept. 30, 2012. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company's website at www.wellcare.com.

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CONTACT:Media Relations Julie Pulliam 770-913-2200julie.pulliam@wellcare.com

WellCare Of Georgia Integrates Behavioral Health Services

This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson Reuters clients. The owner of this announcement warrants that: (i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and (ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein. Source: WellCare Health Plans, Inc. via Thomson Reuters ONE

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