Centene To Invest In Critical Mental Health Resources

May 4, 2020 at 7:00 AM EDT
Centene partners with organizations across the country to support their respective mental health efforts during COVID-19 pandemic

ST. LOUIS, May 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) announced today a plan to provide additional mental health resources to populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a series of local partnerships, Centene will enable providers to better support communities that are experiencing elevated levels of stress and mental strain caused by an increase in grief, loss, economic pressure, unemployment and social isolation. The month of May is recognized as Mental Health Month, a national movement to raise awareness about mental health.

"We must consider the negative toll that the pandemic is taking on the mental health of our communities – especially among underserved communities," said Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman, President and CEO of Centene. "We will continue to support these populations across the continuum of care throughout the pandemic and beyond."

As part of this effort Centene is announcing three investments to support the following programs:

  • Provider Training and Support – Training for hundreds of clinicians and support for thousands of front-line providers dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and the increase in mental health-related challenges in their practices
  • Support for 'Warmline' Call Centers – A series of donations to local organizations coping with an increase in demand for their 'warmlines,' which provide early interventions to potential mental health crises
  • Expanding access to Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) – An investment to help the National Council for Behavioral Health (NCBH) transition part of  their training program to a virtual program, which will enable the training of up to 8,000 MHFA participants over the next year

Provider Training and Support

For many, the emotional trauma of COVID-19 will last longer than the pandemic itself. Centene is partnering with Allegheny Health Network and the CARES Institute at Rowan University to fund 25 virtual Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) training cohorts, which will enable up to 600 clinicians nationally to receive this highly effective training. TF-CBT is an evidence-based treatment for the impact of traumatic experience on child and adolescent mental health.

Centene is also directing funds to the Crisis Text Line to support their 'For the Frontlines' initiative. For the Frontlines provides fast, free, text-based crisis support to individuals on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic response, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other essential workers.

"The most common word in messages received by the Crisis Text Line now is 'quarantine,'" said Nancy Lublin, Co-Founder and CEO of the Crisis Text Line. "We're excited for this opportunity to partner with Centene to expand the reach of the Crisis Text Line at a time when it is needed more than ever."

Support for 'Warmline' Call Centers

Additionally, Centene is partnering with peer warmlines, which are dedicated call centers for mild to moderate behavioral health needs, in states hardest hit by COVID-19, including California, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Illinois, and Florida. As part of this partnership, Centene will allocate funds to assist warmlines in meeting the demand for increased capacity brought on by the pandemic.

"The donation the Mental Health Association of San Francisco (MHASF) is receiving from the Centene will be used to help increase the capacity of the California Peer-Run Warm Line including adding staff, improving training programs, and adding needed technology and equipment, as more Californians are seeking non-judgmental emotional support due to COVID-19," said Mark Salazar, MHA, Executive Director, Mental Health Association of San Francisco, one of the organizations who will receive support from Centene. "This generous donation will help ensure MHASF continues to have the resources to be there when someone is experiencing the distress, anxiety, and fear triggered by COVID-19 and is impacting their mental and physical wellbeing."

Expanding Access to Mental Health First Aid Training

To ensure a long-term impact beyond the current pandemic, Centene will donate to the National Council for Behavioral Health'sCOVID-19 Relief Fund, specifically for the provision of Mental Health First Aid. Mental Health First Aid teaches citizens to recognize signs that someone might be experiencing a mental health crisis, suicidal thinking, or abusing substances. Centene's support will assist in moving Mental Health First Aid training from face-to-face to a virtual environment, allowing more individuals greater access to certification at this critical time.

"We are grateful that Centene has contributed to the National Council'sCOVID-19 Relief Fund in such a meaningful way," said National Council for Behavioral Health President and Chief Executive Officer Chuck Ingoglia. "The role of Mental Health First Aid is even more critical to our nation's health in the wake of this pandemic. With Centene's support, we will inform and educate thousands of new Mental Health First Aiders to provide them with the tools to respond to the mental health challenges borne of this world-wide crisis."

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. 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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; or Investors: Jennifer Gilligan, (212) 549-1306, investors@centene.com