PHOENIX and TAMPA, Fla., March 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Care1st Health Plan Arizona, Inc. (Care1st Arizona), a WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) company, announced today that it was selected to enter into a contract with the state's Medicaid program, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) to coordinate the provision of physical and behavioral healthcare services in the Central and North geographic service areas (GSAs). Services under the new contract are expected to begin on October 1, 2018.
"Care1st Arizona is honored to be awarded this contract as we continue to build upon our nine years of experience by serving the diverse health needs of our members," said Scott Cummings, state president of Care1st Arizona. "By expanding our geographic reach and access to behavioral health services, we expect to continue to support good health not only for our members, but for the community as a whole."
Under the new program, AHCCCS divided the state into three GSAs to serve its 1.5 million AHCCCS members. Health plans were only eligible to be awarded two out of the three GSAs.
Care1st Arizona will serve the Central and North GSAs consisting of Maricopa, Gila, Pinal, Mohave, Coconino, Apache, Navajo and Yavapai counties, excluding zip codes 85542, 85192 and 85550. Under its current contract, Care1st Arizona provides AHCCCS services in Maricopa and Pima counties. Since Pima County now falls within the South GSA, Care1st Arizona will no longer provide coverage to that area as part of the new program.
Care1st Arizona utilizes an innovative healthcare delivery approach that integrates a member's primary care physician, specialists, and behavioral health needs with effective care coordination that connects them to vital social services when they need it most. This care model is designed to improve preventive care and reduce preventable trips to emergency departments. These efforts help boost the quality of life for members and lower costs to the healthcare system.
The initial term of the contract with AHCCCS is three years. AHCCCS may extend the term upon mutual consent for up to two additional two-year terms.
About Care1st Health Plan Arizona, Inc.
Care1st Arizona has more than 300 employees in the state and serves approximately 176,000 members through an office in Phoenix. As of Dec. 31, 2017, Care1st Arizona serves approximately 153,000 Medicaid members and 2,000 Medicare Advantage members. WellCare also serves 21,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) members in Arizona. For more information about Care1st Arizona, please visit its website at www.care1staz.com.
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 4.4 million members nationwide as of Dec. 31, 2017. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company's website at www.wellcare.com or view the company's videos at www.youtube.com/user/WellCareHealthPlan.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains "forward-looking" statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements that are predictive in nature, that depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or that include words such as "expects," "will," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates," and similar expressions are forward-looking statements. For example, statements regarding the date for commencement of services under the new program contain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause WellCare's actual future results to differ materially from those projected or contemplated in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the outcome of any protests and litigation related to the Medicaid awards, the approval of the contract by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, any changes to the program or contract, WellCare's ability to address operational challenges relating to the implementation of the contract requirements, including, but not limited to, meeting the requirements of readiness reviews, WellCare's progress on top priorities such as integrating care management, advocating for our members, building advanced relationships with providers and government partners, ensuring a competitive cost position, and delivering prudent, profitable growth, WellCare's ability to effectively estimate and manage growth, WellCare's ability to meet the requirements of readiness reviews, potential reductions in Medicaid revenue, WellCare's ability to estimate and manage medical benefits expense effectively, including through its vendors, WellCare's ability to improve healthcare quality and access, and its ability to negotiate actuarially sound rates, especially in new programs with limited experience. Given the risks and uncertainties inherent in forward-looking statements, any of WellCare's forward-looking statements could be incorrect and investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any of our forward-looking statements.
Additional information concerning these and other important risks and uncertainties can be found in the Company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), included under the captions "Forward-Looking Statements" and "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 and other filings by WellCare with the SEC, which contain discussions of WellCare's business and the various factors that may affect it. Subsequent events and developments may cause actual results to differ, perhaps materially, from WellCare's forward-looking statements. WellCare undertakes no duty to update these forward-looking statements to reflect any future events, developments, or otherwise.
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SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.