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Medicaid Health Plans of America's Center for Best Practices Honors Health Plan Programs for Improving Access, Quality of Care of Medicaid Enrollees

Achievement Recognized in Several Dimensions Including Children's Health, Cultural Competency and Innovation

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA) and its Center for Best Practices presented a select few of its member health plans with awards for their innovative best practices that have improved the health of Medicaid beneficiaries. The health plans that received awards today for the special programs that they manage for their enrollees are Centene Corporation, Health Partners of Philadelphia, Horizon NJ Health, Keystone Mercy Health Plan and United Healthcare Community & State. By ensuring access to and the delivery of high-quality care, the best practice programs from these plans excelled in areas of both clinical and operational performance.

"Each of the six award categories represents a facet of healthcare that is important in serving the unique needs of the Medicaid population," said Thomas L. Johnson, President and CEO of MHPA and President and Co-Founder of the Center for Best Practices. "We honor the best practices here today to share their success in these crucial areas so that all may benefit from their experience."

The award categories and their winners are as follows:

The Make a Difference Award recognizes the best practice that has had the biggest effect on the lives of its enrollees. This year's award goes to the Gold Star Program by United Healthcare Community & State (Unison Health Plan of Pennsylvania), a pay-for-performance program developed to meet the plan's internal need to improve quality and enroll outstanding providers in the plan network.

The Technology Award goes to the health plan that has most creatively incorporated technology into a best practice program. The 2011 Technology Award for best use of technology in a best practice program goes to Connections PLUS by Centene Corporation, a program that promotes care coordination by providing free cell phones to high-risk members, and Text4Babies by United Healthcare Community & State and National Medical Management: Healthy First Steps, a program that delivers free educational text messaging to pregnant women.

The Outreach Award honors plans that take proactive steps to find enrollees that need help like those with impairments that prevent them from seeking appropriate care or those facing socioeconomic, cultural and language barriers that often impede the delivery of health care. The winner of the 2011 Outreach Award is the Community Baby Shower Program by Keystone Mercy Health Plan, a practice that connects pregnant African American women with health care providers, care managers and community organizations.

The Cultural Competency Award recognizes programs that exemplify Medicaid health plans' dedication to working effectively across cultures. This year's winner is the Pharmacy Multi-Lingual Program by Horizon NJ Health, a practice that provides pharmacies with the tools to encourage members to request their prescription labels in their preferred language.

The Children's Health Award honors programs that are committed to quality health in children. This year's honor goes to the Pediatric Obesity Program by United Healthcare Community & State (Tennessee), a comprehensive weight management program for children ages five to 18.

Finally, the Innovation Award is conferred upon the overall best practice of Medicaid health plans in the industry for 2010-2011. The recipients of this award are the Biggest Winner Nutrition Program by Health Partners of Philadelphia, an educational outreach program that increase awareness of the importance of nutrition and exercise, and Embedding a Care Manager in a Physician Office by Keystone Mercy Health Plan, where Keystone partnered with an urban integrated delivery system to develop ways to enhance the coordination of care.

"This Awards Forum not only recognizes exemplary programs and their managers for a job well done, but more important, it helps fulfill the mission of the Center for Best Practices: to inform and educate Medicaid health plans nationwide on how best to treat the low-income populations they serve," said Johnson. "We congratulate this year's Award winners and nominees. They've all accomplished much to be certain, however, much work still remains as we strive to address important health care issues related to prevention, chronic care and complex care management for our nation's neediest."

About MHPA

Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA) is the leading trade association solely focused on representing Medicaid health plans. MHPA provides advocacy, research and organized forums that support the development of policy solutions to enhance the delivery of quality health care. For more information, visit Medicaid Health Plans of America at or email at

Contact: Joe Reblando;
(202) 857-5722

SOURCE Medicaid Health Plans of America

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