TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States experiences mental illness in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health. To address the prevalence of mental health conditions, Staywell Health Plan, a WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) health plan dedicated to serving Medicaid members in Florida, has implemented a new physician incentive program designed to improve follow-up care for members who need behavioral health treatment following a hospitalization for mental illness.
It is vital for members to follow up with a licensed behavioral health practitioner within seven days after hospitalization for mental illness. Continued treatment can lower readmission rates, maintain and extend improvements achieved in the hospital, and help detect any problems or medication adjustments.
WellCare's new physician incentive program will provide financial rewards to behavioral health facilities that ensure members get needed follow-up appointments within seven days of discharge. In addition to their regular reimbursement rates, facilities will receive a bonus payment for each kept follow-up appointment. The bonus will be determined by the percentage of total members who received follow-up care: the higher the percentage, the higher the bonus.
"The consequences of lack of treatment for behavioral health issues can be significant," said Dr. Alan Smith, WellCare of Florida's senior medical director. "Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions. In addition, adults living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions."
For more information on this program or to learn more about Staywell, please visit www.wellcare.com/Florida or call toll-free 855-538-0454.
As of Sept. 30, 2016, WellCare serves approximately 779,000 Medicaid members, 62,000 Florida Healthy Kids members, 93,000 Medicare Advantage members, and 29,000 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 3.8 million members nationwide as of Sept. 30, 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.