Plans honored for improving access, quality of care for Medicaid enrollees

May 1, 2012
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Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA) and its Center for Best Practices has presented member health plans and partner companies with awards for their innovative best practices that have improved the health of Medicaid beneficiaries.

The companies that received awards today for the outstanding programs they manage for their enrollees are UPMC for You, Midwest Health Plan, UnitedHealthcare, Centene Corporation, Magellan Diagnostics, Health Partners of Philadelphia and WellPoint.

By ensuring access to and the delivery of high-quality care, the best practice programs from these companies excelled in areas of both clinical and operational performance.

"Each of the awards represents an aspect of healthcare that is key to serving the unique needs of the Medicaid population," said Thomas L. Johnson, president and CEO of MHPA and president and founder of the Center for Best Practices. "Though all Medicaid health plans actively seek the most effective ways to deliver high quality care, there are standouts whose programs have significantly changed the lives of enrollees. We honor those companies here today to share their success so that all may benefit from their experience."

The award categories and their winners are as follows:

The Make a Difference Award recognizes the best practice that has had the biggest effect on the lives of its enrollees. This year's award goes to UPMC for You for "Helping Families Raise Healthy Children," a cross-systems quality improvement initiative that helps families with children who are facing caregiver depression and early childhood developmental delays.

The Technology Award goes to the health plan that has most creatively incorporated technology into a best practice program. The 2012 Technology Award for best use of technology in a best practice program goes to "Opportunity Knocks: IT Listens": Aligning Health Information with Pay for Performance, an initiative by Midwest Health Plan that provides data and reports to support Midwest's pay-for-performance program, and Telemedicine Services for Medically Complex Children on the Navajo Nation, an effort by UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Arizona that uses hi-def telemedicine technology to allow pediatric neurologists provide services to children living in remote locations on the Navajo Nation.

The Outreach Award honors plans that take proactive steps to find enrollees that need help like those with impairments that prevent them from seeking appropriate care or those facing socioeconomic, cultural and language barriers that often impede the delivery of health care. The winner of the 2012 Outreach Award is the Nurtur Diabetes Program, a Centene Corporation initiative that identifies members through claims data and referrals then provides them with health coaching to help manage their diabetes.

The Cultural Competency Award recognizes programs that exemplify Medicaid health plans' dedication to working effectively across cultures. This year's winner is the Crazy Praise Dance Showcase and Health Fair, a free, faith-based celebration of healthy living through dance by Health Partners, geared specifically to entertain and educate the African American community.

The Children's Health Award honors programs that are committed to quality health in children. This year's award goes to Magellan Diagnostics for their work with the Wisconsin/WIC Medicaid Managed Care Organization Partnership to Fight Childhood Lead Poisoning. This program helps managed care companies improve their HEDIS scores for blood-lead testing, focuses resources on at-risk children and improves overall service to their members.

Finally, the Innovation Award is conferred upon the overall best practice of Medicaid health plans in the industry for 2011-2012. The recipient of this honor is Promoting Healthier Lifestyles, a multifaceted childhood obesity initiative by WellPoint that uses provider, member and community outreach to accomplish its goals.

"This Awards Forum not only recognizes model programs for a job well done, but more important, it helps fulfill the mission of the Center for Best Practices: to inform and educate Medicaid health plans nationwide on how best to treat the low-income populations they serve," said Michelle Martin, director of the Center for Best Practices. "We congratulate this year's award winners and nominees, but also thank all of our member health plans and partners for the work they do every day to ensure that our nation's disadvantaged have access to the quality healthcare they deserve."

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