WellCare Unit Inks Deal to Serve Medicaid Liver Patients

WellCare Health Plans, Inc.’s WCG unit Care1st Health Plan Arizona, has signed a value-based deal with Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) on Oct 1, 2018 to launch the Hepatitis C Center of Excellence program. The project will help treat the Medicaid members in Maricopa County with the aforementioned infectious liver disease under a value-based bundled payment deal.

Per the experts at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard University, this is the very first time when a Medicaid plan in the United States has provided bundled payments as part of a value-based agreement for treating hepatitis C.

Notably, around 90,000 people in Arizona are suffering Hepatitis C, which makes it one of the state’s most commonly reported infectious diseases. By dint of this unique collaboration, Care1st Health Plan Arizona will tie up with MIHS hepatologists at Maricopa Medical Center to diagnose and treat 100 members afflicted with the disease by administering anti-viral medication, targeting the hepatitis C virus. The medication used for the treatment is prescribed to be taken daily for around 12 weeks and is covered by Care1st Health Plan Arizona. It is also available to Medicaid members for free.

Additionally, the members will work with MIHS navigators as well as community health workers to ensure program compliance and to help them connect with the required social and human services, such as food, living, conveyance, etc.

Per the contract, participating MIHS providers receive bundled payments to boost the quality of their health outcomes.

Bundled payments are recognized as one of the more advanced levels of compensation in value-based contract payment structures under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Learning Action Network. These types of episodic payments not only help control exorbitant medical costs but also promote better health outcomes while allowing innovation at the clinical practice level.

With the aid of this program, Medicaid members across the state will have access to quality and affordable care and treatment.

During the year-long Hepatitis C Center of Excellence program, Care1st Health Plan Arizona will measure the quality and utilization outcomes from the endeavor and will assess whether to expand the same.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have surged nearly 33.8% in a year’s time versus its industry’s decline of 1.4%.

Stocks to Consider

Investors interested in the medical sector can take a look at some better-ranked stocks like Molina Healthcare, Inc MOH, Anthem, Inc. ANTM and Tenet Healthcare Corporation THC. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Molina offers Medicaid-related solutions to meet the health care needs of low-income families and individuals. It sports a Zacks Rank #1. In the trailing four quarters, the company delivered average beat of 109.4%.

Anthem and subsidiaries operate as a health benefits company in the United States.  In the previous four quarters, the company pulled off average beat of 7.1%. It carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Tenet Healthcare functions as a diversified healthcare services company. The company has a Zacks Rank of 2 and came up with average beat of 832.58% in the last four quarters.

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