Centene To Expand Access, Reduce Cost Of Care For Most Vulnerable Populations Affected By COVID-19

April 1, 2020 at 7:00 AM EDT
- Centene to waive COVID-19 related costs for Medicare, Medicaid and Marketplace members, building on steps already taken in partnership with the White House Coronavirus Task Force
- Company to also provide new support for Safety Net providers who deliver care to the most vulnerable populations

ST. LOUIS, April 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Centene (NYSE: CNC) today announced a series of additional measures to support the most vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on actions already taken in partnership with the White House Coronavirus Task Force, the Company announced it will cover the cost of COVID-19-related treatments for Medicare, Medicaid and Marketplace members. In order to expedite care and eliminate the administrative burden to providers, the Company is also eliminating the need for providers to collect co-pays and removing authorization requirements for COVID-19 related treatment.

Additionally, the Company announced today that it will deliver new critical support to Safety Net providers, including Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers (FQHCs), behavioral health providers, and long-term service and support organizations.

"As a country, we must come together to serve the people that will be hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are driven to help our communities and members in their time of need, and the measures announced today are designed to help our most vulnerable populations," said Michael Neidorff, Chairman, President and CEO of Centene. "We will also continue to support our key local partners, including Safety Net providers, as they are the essential service providers in the communities we serve."

Cost waivers for COVID-19 treatment

Effective immediately, Centene will waive COVID-19 related prior authorizations and member cost sharing for related screening, testing and treatment for all Medicare, Medicaid and Marketplace members. As part of this effort, the Company will cover all telehealth services related to COVID-19 for these members, as well as all covered healthcare services that can be administered virtually through June 30, 2020.

Comprehensive support for Safety Net providers

Today, the Company is also announcing the creation of a comprehensive financial aid package in response to the unprecedented needs of our Safety Net providers including FQHCs, behavioral health providers and community-based behavioral health organizations, and long-term service and support organizations operating on the front lines of the pandemic.  

Specifically, Centene is:

  • Facilitating the sourcing, ordering, and shipping of personal protective equipment (PPEs) to our provider partners that enable them to meet the urgent needs of patients. Centene is already in the process of expediting the distribution of approximately 2 million pieces of PPE including safety goggles, facemasks, hand sanitizers and disaster kits, and we will continue these efforts in coming weeks.
  • Partnering with our providers to deploy resources to service areas that have been most impacted by newly created quarantine and isolation centers.
  • Providing data and support that enable providers to reallocate resources based upon utilization changes caused by the pandemic.
  • Working to ensure that our community Safety Net providers and organizations have long-term sustainability beyond the immediate crisis.
  • Providing assistance in securing small business loans to specifically help behavioral health providers and community-based behavioral health organizations, long-term service support organizations and other Safety Net providers gain access to government sponsored small business loans, and telehealth technology.

About Centene Corporation

Centene Corporation, a Fortune 100 company, is a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise that is committed to helping people live healthier lives. The Company takes a local approach – with local brands and local teams - to provide fully integrated, high-quality, and cost-effective services to government-sponsored and commercial healthcare programs, focusing on under-insured and uninsured individuals. Centene offers affordable and high-quality products to nearly 1 in 15 individuals across the nation, including Medicaid and Medicare members (including Medicare Prescription Drug Plans) as well as individuals and families served by the Health Insurance Marketplace, the TRICARE program, and individuals in correctional facilities. The Company also serves several international markets, and contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide a variety of specialty services focused on treating the whole person. Centene focuses on long-term growth and the development of its people, systems and capabilities so that it can better serve its members, providers, local communities, and government partners.

Centene uses its investor relations website to publish important information about the company, including information that may be deemed material to investors. Financial and other information about Centene is routinely posted and is accessible on Centene's investor relations website, http://www.centene.com/investors.

Forward-Looking Statements

All statements, other than statements of current or historical fact, contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, forward-looking statements often use words such as "believe," "anticipate," "plan," "expect," "estimate," "intend," "seek," "target," "goal," "may," "will," "would," "could," "should," "can," "continue" and other similar words or expressions (and the negative thereof). Centene (the Company, our, or we) intends such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe-harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and we are including this statement for purposes of complying with these safe-harbor provisions. In particular, these statements include, without limitation, statements about our future operating or financial performance, market opportunity, growth strategy, competition, expected activities in completed and future acquisitions, including statements about the impact of our recently completed acquisition (the WellCare Acquisition) of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (WellCare), other recent and future acquisitions, investments and the adequacy of our available cash resources.  These forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are based on numerous assumptions and assessments made by us in light of our experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, business strategies, operating environments, future developments and other factors we believe appropriate. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are subject to change because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future, including economic, regulatory, competitive and other factors that may cause our or our 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. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. All forward-looking statements included in this press release are based on information available to us on the date hereof. Except as may be otherwise required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements included in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date hereof. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, as actual results may differ materially from projections, estimates, or other forward-looking statements due to a variety of important factors, variables and events including but not limited to: the impact of COVID-19 on global markets, economic conditions and the healthcare industry and our results of operations, which is unknown, uncertainty as to our expected financial performance following completion of the WellCare Acquisition; the possibility that the expected synergies and value creation from the WellCare Acquisition will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the risk that unexpected costs will be incurred in connection with the integration of the WellCare Acquisition or that the integration of WellCare will be more difficult or time consuming than expected; unexpected costs, charges or expenses resulting from the WellCare Acquisition; the inability to retain key personnel; disruption from the completion of the WellCare Acquisition, including potential adverse reactions or changes to business relationships with customers, employees, suppliers or regulators, making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; the risk that, following the WellCare Acquisition, we may not be able to effectively manage our expanded operations; our ability to accurately predict and effectively manage health benefits and other operating expenses and reserves; competition; membership and revenue declines or unexpected trends; changes in healthcare practices, new technologies, and advances in medicine; increased healthcare costs; changes in economic, political or market conditions; changes in federal or state laws or regulations, including changes with respect to income tax reform or government healthcare programs as well as changes with respect to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act, collectively referred to as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and any regulations enacted thereunder that may result from changing political conditions or judicial actions, including the ultimate outcome in "Texas v. United States of America" regarding the constitutionality of the ACA; rate cuts or other payment reductions or delays by governmental payors and other risks and uncertainties affecting our government businesses; our ability to adequately price products on the Health Insurance Marketplaces and other commercial and Medicare products; tax matters; disasters or major epidemics; the outcome of legal and regulatory proceedings; changes in expected contract start dates; provider, state, federal and other contract changes and timing of regulatory approval of contracts; the expiration, suspension, or termination of our contracts with federal or state governments (including but not limited to Medicaid, Medicare, TRICARE or other customers); the difficulty of predicting the timing or outcome of pending or future litigation or government investigations; challenges to our contract awards;  cyber-attacks or other privacy or data security incidents; the possibility that the expected synergies and value creation from acquired businesses, including, without limitation, the WellCare Acquisition, will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the exertion of management's time and our resources, and other expenses incurred and business changes required in connection with complying with the undertakings in connection with any regulatory, governmental or third party consents or approvals for acquisitions; disruption caused by significant completed and pending acquisitions, including, among others, the WellCare Acquisition, making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; the risk that unexpected costs will be incurred in connection with the completion and/or integration of acquisition transactions; changes in expected closing dates, estimated purchase price and accretion for acquisitions; the risk that acquired businesses, including WellCare, will not be integrated successfully; the risk that we may not be able to effectively manage our operations as they have expanded as a result of the WellCare Acquisition; restrictions and limitations in connection with our indebtedness; our ability to maintain or achieve improvement in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Star ratings and maintain or achieve improvement in other quality scores in each case that can impact revenue and future growth; availability of debt and equity financing, on terms that are favorable to us; inflation; foreign currency fluctuations; and risks and uncertainties discussed in the reports that Centene has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This list of important factors is not intended to be exhaustive. We discuss certain of these matters more fully, as well as certain other factors that may affect our business operations, financial condition and results of operations, in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K. Due to these important factors and risks, we cannot give assurances with respect to our future performance, including without limitation our ability to maintain adequate premium levels or our ability to control our future medical and selling, general and administrative costs.

 

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SOURCE Centene Corporation

Media: Marcela Manjarrez-Hawn, (314) 445-0790, mediainquiries@centene.com ; Investors: Edmund E. Kroll, Jr., (212) 759-0382, investors@centene.com