TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- WellCare of Florida, a subsidiary of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), announced today that its chief operating officer, Elizabeth Miller, has been appointed to the state's newly created Telehealth Advisory Council. The council is tasked with examining the types of telehealth services that are available in the state and developing recommendations for how to increase access to telehealth services for all Floridians.
"I'm excited to be part of this important initiative to drive innovation and adoption of telehealth programs," said Miller, who in addition to overseeing overall plan operations in Florida is a certified registered nurse practitioner. "Telehealth can increase access and convenience of care for Floridians, especially those living in rural areas. It can also mitigate the impact of physician shortages by extending the reach of individual practitioners."
As part of the company's efforts to increase telehealth options for its members, WellCare of Florida offers a behavioral health telehealth program for its Medicaid members. This program allows members to video conference with their clinicians using a computer or tablet from the comfort of their homes. This convenient option eliminates the time and cost associated with traveling to appointments and missed work or school. The program can also lead to increased income for providers by decreasing the number of patients who don't show up for appointments, a problem common in the industry, and by extending their geographical reach.
"I want to congratulate all of the members selected to serve on the Telehealth Advisory Council," said Elizabeth Dudek, secretary of the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA). "The members of the council have a proven track record of innovation in the field of medicine, and I look forward to working with them over the next year to examine the best uses of telemedicine to provide healthcare for Floridians."
The council was created as part of House Bill 7087, which was designed to set the stage for commercial insurance coverage in the state, and will present its findings to the governor, senate president and house speaker by Oct. 31, 2017.
As of March 31, 2016, WellCare serves approximately 772,000 Medicaid members, 57,000 Florida Healthy Kids members, 92,000 Medicare Advantage members, and 31,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in Florida.
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 3.7 million members nationwide as of March 31, 2016. 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.