Initiative Designed to Improve Quality of Care and Drive Cost Savings
Tampa, Fla. (March 10, 2014) — WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) today announced that it is working with MyHealthDirect to make scheduling doctors’ appointments easier and more convenient for its members and health care providers in Georgia. WellCare Medicaid and Medicare Advantage members who are patients of providers that participate in this program will be able to work directly with WellCare representatives to schedule and confirm appointments immediately, and to receive text and email appointment reminders. These representatives include customer service, case managers, community relations specialists and outreach coordinators.
Traditionally, health plans must coordinate scheduling directly with the Primary Care Physician (PCP) while the member is present. This process can delay needed care which can lead to more advanced health conditions and emergency room visits. Additionally, appointment reminders have customarily been made via telephone where the ability to successfully connect with the member is less reliable. WellCare’s initiative with MyHealthDirect is designed to help improve member outcomes by promoting continuity of care, reducing costs, and ensuring appointments are scheduled according to the members’ needs and preferences.
“WellCare is working to improve our members’ access to care by providing solutions that streamline the process,” said Roman Kulich, WellCare’s region president for Georgia and South Carolina. “This tool is another way that we are making it easier for our members to get the quality care they need, while offering increased convenience and administrative savings for providers, and reducing overall costs.”
“We’re excited to partner with WellCare to make the process of booking appointments for members as easy as possible,” said Tom Cox, MyHealthDirect’s CEO. “With MyHealthDirect, WellCare’s staff will be able to search, compare, schedule and confirm appointments online—taking action with their members at the point of engagement. This new solution will be instrumental in getting more WellCare members to the doctor for preventive and other essential health care services.”
WellCare is rolling the program out in phases and expects it to be available to approximately 150,000 members in the first year. As of January 2014, WellCare serves approximately 531,000 Medicaid members, 28,000 Medicare Advantage members and 50,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in Georgia.
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 served approximately 3.3 million members nationwide as of January 2014. For more information about WellCare, please visit the Company’s website at www.wellcare.com.
MyHealthDirect is a national health technology company whose healthcare scheduling exchange connects health plans, hospitals, care management organizations, public agencies and community collaboratives with doctors and other providers for the purpose of scheduling and booking timely and appropriate healthcare appointments on behalf of individuals. Founded in 2005, MyHealthDirect offers a web-based platform that organizes open and available healthcare appointments in the community into a searchable and schedulable inventory of healthcare services. The MyHealthDirect solution promotes continuity of care, reduces unnecessary cost and utilization and ensures that patients are matched with appointments that best fit their needs and preferences. MyHealthDirect is backed by Arboretum Ventures and Chrysalis Ventures, two of America’s leading healthcare venture capital firms. For more information, visit www.myhealthdirect.com.
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,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” and similar expressions are forward-looking statements. For example, statements regarding the anticipated cost savings from, and other impacts of, the MyHealthDirect initiative and the number of members to which it is expected to be available 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, WellCare’s ability to integrate MyHealthDirect into its processes and the rate of member acceptance of the program.
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 (the 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, 2013, and other subsequent filings by WellCare with the SEC, which contain discussions of WellCare’s business and the various factors that may affect it. WellCare undertakes no duty to update these forward-looking statements to reflect any future events, developments, or otherwise.