Centene Corporation today announced that it has been awarded the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ 2019 Health Equity Award for its commitment to provide equal access to quality healthcare and services for people with disabilities. The award recognizes organizations demonstrating a commitment to health equity by reducing disparities among the CMS beneficiaries they serve.
In 2018, Centene launched a partnership with the National Council on Independent Living called the Provider Accessibility Initiative. The goal of the PAI is to provide equal access to quality health care and services that are physically and programmatically accessible for Centene’s members with disabilities and their companions by increasing the percentage of Centene medical providers that meet minimum federal and state disability access standards. The PAI includes a national “Barrier Removal Fund” that was piloted in 2018 in three states including Illinois, Texas, and Ohio.
“The Provider Accessibility Initiative is driven by Centene’s core belief that local partnerships enable meaningful, accessible healthcare,” said Dr. Ken Yamaguchi, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Centene. “We are honored to be recognized by CMS with this prestigious award and we look forward to continuing our efforts in helping provide equal access to quality healthcare services to all of our members.”
To date, 52 health care providers in Illinois, Texas, and Ohio have received grants from the BRF. The grantees range in size, location, and specialty and include both physical and programmatic access improvements. In addition, more than 2,500 onsite Accessibility Site Reviews have been conducted to verify provider self-reported disability access data. As a result of these combined efforts, more than 36,000 Centene members now have improved disability access to their medical provider’s offices and services.
In 2019, Centene plans to roll out this initiative in Florida, Kansas, and New Mexico, and continue its efforts to develop disability-related data collection processes and directory improvements that can be scaled across states.
Date: February 5, 2019