Centene Named as URAC Award Finalist for Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection

Start Smart for Your Baby among distinguished finalists

ST. LOUIS, July 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Centene Corporation was selected as one of 30 finalists for the Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards.  URAC, the nation's leading accreditation organization, will honor the finalists during their 11th Annual Quality Summit, October 5-7, 2010 in Chicago, IL.

Centene's program was selected by a distinguished panel of judges out of entries from across the nation. Finalists are invited to present their winning programs at the Annual Quality Summit which will showcase best practices in two categories: Consumer Decision-Making and Consumer Health Improvement.

Centene's award-winning Start Smart for Your Baby® is a comprehensive pregnancy and postpartum management program that continues through the child's first year of life.  Start Smart incorporates the concepts of case management, care coordination, and disease management in an effort to achieve healthier babies for Centene's pregnant and new mothers.

The program promotes education and communication between pregnant members, their case managers, and physicians to ensure a healthy pregnancy and first year of life for their babies.  Through the Start Smart program, Centene takes a multi-faceted approach to prenatal and postpartum care, including enhanced member outreach and incentives, wellness materials, intensive case management and provider incentives.  Start Smart reinforces the appropriate use of medical resources to extend the gestational period and reduce the risks of pregnancy complications, premature delivery, and infant disease.

"Centene is honored to be a finalist for this award," said Mary Mason, M.D., Centene's senior vice president and Chief Medical Officer. "We are proud to be recognized for understanding the importance of empowering members by providing the appropriate education and resources.  Our Start Smart program shows our commitment to proactive outreach that helps ensure our members stay healthy."

Entries were judged by a distinguished panel chaired by epidemiologist Thomas W. Wilson, Ph.D, DrPH, Trajectory HealthCare, LLC. The 30-member panel included the best and most widely recognized experts in program evaluation, care coordination, health information technology, employer and purchaser decision making and patient safety.  Entries were reviewed and scored by the judges based on objective criteria.

"The Annual Quality Summit provides a unique opportunity for leaders in health care to learn what premier companies are doing to advance consumer protection and empowerment," said Alan P. Spielman, president and chief executive officer of URAC.  "It is a one-of-a-kind conference, designed to inspire the industry as a whole to rapidly adopt proven practices that advance patient safety and empower consumers with improved decision-making tools."

All finalists are invited to attend a special event during the conference, when they will discover how they will be distinguished as award winners.  Gold, Silver, Bronze and Honorable Mention Award winners in each of the six organization categories will be announced at the dinner.  Platinum Award winners will also be announced in the two topic categories.

For complete conference details and to register for URAC's 11th Annual Quality Summit, October 5-7, 2010 in Chicago, IL, go to http://www.urac.org/accreditationEducation/11thAnnualSummit.asp.  To see a complete list of judges, go to http://www.urac.org/accreditationEducation/11thSummitjudges.asp.

About Centene Corporation

Centene Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise that provides programs and related services to the rising number of under-insured and uninsured individuals. Many receive benefits provided under Medicaid, including the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD), Foster Care and long-term care, in addition to other state-sponsored programs, and Medicare (Special Needs Plans). Centene's CeltiCare subsidiary offers states unique, "exchange based" and other cost-effective coverage solutions for low-income populations. The Company operates local health plans and offers a range of health insurance solutions. It also contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide specialty services including behavioral health, life and health management, managed vision, telehealth services, and pharmacy benefits management. More information regarding Centene is available at www.centene.com.

SOURCE Centene Corporation