Centene Corporation to Expand Claims Processing Facility

September 30, 2002 at 7:31 AM EDT
ST. LOUIS, Sep 30, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Centene Corporation (Nasdaq:CNTE) today announced plans to expand its centralized claims processing facility in Farmington, Missouri. The company will add an additional 25,000 square-feet to its existing facility, which will be done to accommodate membership growth from acquisitions, as well as projected organic growth.

Centene Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Michael F. Neidorff said, "We are pleased to announce plans for the expansion of our centralized claims processing facility. The increased capacity will begin to become available in the first quarter of 2003 and is planned so as to add incremental staff in a methodical manner as we grow.

"We have 115 employees processing providers' claims with room to add 10 more. With the planned expansion, we will have the ability to hire up to an additional 175 persons as our growth mandates. This will allow us to ensure that we are fully staffed and positioned to maintain our claims payment record, which in recent months reflected that 83% of our claims were paid within 14 days of receipt and 99% within 30 days. It is also consistent with our previously stated guidance for general and administrative expense."

Neidorff also noted, "The State of Missouri has been instrumental in assisting us as we continue to grow." In establishing and expanding its claims processing facility, Centene has availed itself of the State of Missouri's tax incentive program for businesses that create more jobs for State residents as well as the State's New Jobs Training Program, which contributes state funding to help pay the cost of job training.

Centene provides managed care programs and services to individuals receiving benefits under Medicaid, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The company operates health plans in Indiana, Texas and Wisconsin.

The second and third paragraphs of this press release contain forward-looking statements that relate to future events and future financial performance of Centene. Subsequent events and developments may cause the company's estimates to change. The company disclaims any obligation to update this forward-looking financial information in the future. Readers are cautioned that matters subject to forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including economic, regulatory, competitive and other factors that may cause Centene's or its industry's actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ from projections or estimates due to a variety of important factors, including Centene's ability to accurately predict and effectively manage health benefits and other operating expenses, competition, changes in health care practices, changes in federal or state laws or regulations, inflation, provider contract changes, new technologies, reduction in provider payments by governmental payors, major epidemics, disasters and numerous other factors affecting the delivery and cost of health care. The expiration, cancellation or suspension of Centene's Medicaid managed care contracts by state governments would also negatively impact Centene.

CONTACT:          Centene Corporation, St. Louis
                  Michael F. Neidorff, 314/725-447
                  or
                  Investor Relations:
                  In-Site Communications
                  Lisa Carlton Wilson, 212/759-3929

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