WellCare Names Dr. James W. Howatt Medical Director in Iowa

Nov 09, 2015, 09:17 ET from WellCare Health Plans, Inc.

DES MOINES, Iowa and TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), a leading provider of managed care services for government-sponsored health care programs, announced it has named James W. Howatt, M.D., MBA, medical director for WellCare of Iowa. Dr. Howatt will develop and devise clinical strategies and quality activities, including accreditation results, and cultural competency, population health and program effectiveness initiatives that support the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective care for WellCare members who participate in Iowa's Medicaid Managed Care program, IA Health Link, the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan, and the Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa (hawk-i) programs. Dr. Howatt will also oversee clinical and medical activities for Iowans who participate in the state's seven home- and community-based services waiver programs: AIDS/HIV, Brain Injury, Children's Mental Health, Elderly, Health and Disability, Intellectual Disability and Physical Disability.

"Dr. Howatt has more than 15 years of clinical leadership and patient care improvement experience in government sponsored health care programs," said Lauralie Rubel, president, WellCare of Iowa. "His expertise will be valuable to both the implementation of WellCare's Medicaid managed care program in Iowa and to our mission to help our members live better, healthier lives."

"I look forward to making a meaningful difference in the health and quality of life of Iowans and to assisting the state in successfully transitioning its Medicaid recipients to a coordinated Medicaid managed care program," said Dr. Howatt.

Prior to joining WellCare, Dr. Howatt served as staff vice president and medical director for WellPoint, where he was responsible for implementing more efficient health care delivery systems for dual-eligible beneficiaries in California, New York and Virginia. Previously, Dr. Howatt served as the chief medical officer (CMO) for Molina Healthcare, Inc., where he oversaw the medical management of the company's subsidiaries, including utilization management; quality improvement; credentialing and accreditation; pharmacy; and risk management activities. He also served as CMO for Humana TRICARE, where he was responsible for a $2.5 billion health care operation serving three million beneficiaries, 40,000 providers, 800 institutions and 13 medical directors.

Dr. Howatt received his bachelor's and medical degrees from the University of California, San Francisco, and a master's of business administration in health management from the University of Phoenix. He interned and completed his residency program in family practice at Ventura County Hospital in Ventura, Calif. Board certified as a family physician, Dr. Howatt is a member of the American College of Managed Care Medicine and an adjunct professor at Claremont Graduate University School of Community and Global Health in Claremont, Calif. He has an active medical license in California and is pursuing licensure in Iowa.

About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) focuses exclusively on providing government-sponsored managed care services, primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs. The Company serves approximately 3.8 million members nationwide as of Sept. 30, 2015. For more information about WellCare, please visit the Company's website at www.wellcare.com or view the company's videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/WellCareHealthPlan.

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SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.