According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half a million babies in the United States – that’s one in nine – are born prematurely, before 37 weeks of gestation, resulting in potentially serious and ongoing health complications. As part of its effort to address the problem with industry-leading, quality- and outcomes-driven maternity and newborn support, WellPoint, Inc., (NYSE: WLP) today announced it will start using CareNex’s expertise in neonatal support internally, in connection with WellPoint’s care management services. WellPoint has had a relationship with CareNex Health Services, a California-based company that provides URAC-accredited neonatal medical management services, since 2009. WellPoint became the sole owner of CareNex in December 2012. Since then, WellPoint has worked to leverage CareNex’s proficiency in newborn management while accessing its clinical data repository and nationally recognized Physician Advisory Board. “Historically, across the health care delivery system, care for high-risk newborns has been far too fragmented and costly,” said Gail Borgatti Croall, MD, senior vice president of care management with WellPoint. “We believe integrating CareNex’s approach to coordinating care for the highest risk newborns as part of our goal to improve maternity-related care will offer our affiliated health plan members greater access to the support they need, when and where they need it most.” "Ensuring that clinically complex infants and women with high-risk pregnancies have access to timely, quality health care has been CareNex’s priority. We are pleased that our collaboration with WellPoint will further enable mothers and babies to have access to personalized and thoughtfully coordinated medical resources and benefits,” said Pedram Salimpour, MD, president and co-founder of CareNex Health Services. Integrating CareNex’s capabilities into WellPoint’s overall maternity and infant care management strategy among its affiliated health plans will enable WellPoint to continue building more robust pre- and post-natal, consumer-centered benefits and benefits management services. This integration also underscores WellPoint’s commitment to promoting patient-centered care and improving the coordination of care across the health-care spectrum.
“We believe we can be even more successful in fostering healthier outcomes by leveraging CareNex’s assets coupled with our own care management services and maternity-related resources that focus on care for high-risk newborns and offer vital support for their families,” said WellPoint’s Croall.About WellPoint At WellPoint, we believe there is an important connection between our members’ health and well-being—and the value we bring our customers and shareholders. So each day we work to improve the health of our members and their communities. And, we can make a real difference since we have nearly 36 million people in our affiliated health plans, and nearly 68 million people served through our subsidiaries. As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; and as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In a majority of these service areas, WellPoint’s plans do business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas). We also serve customers in several additional states through our Amerigroup subsidiary and in certain markets through our CareMore subsidiary. Our 1-800 CONTACTS, Inc. subsidiary offers customers online sales of contact lenses, eyeglasses and other ocular products. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.