TAMPA, Fla. (March 6, 2013) - WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (WCG) today announced an agreement with the Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth, Inc. (GPT) to expand access to specialty health care services for its Georgia Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids® members. Through GPT`s telemedicine network and services, WellCare members can quickly connect with more than 200 specialists at over 300 patient locations in over 40 adult and pediatric specialties.
Using an interactive video session over a secure network, providers evaluate, educate and treat patients who may have limited access to specialty care due to geographic or time limitations. The number of telehealth sessions in Georgia has increased exponentially in the last few years, from eight in 2006 to over 70,000 encounters in 2012.
"WellCare`s partnership with GPT gives our members access to one of the most advanced telemedicine networks in the country," said David McNichols, WellCare of Georgia President. "Telemedicine allows us to provide an additional level of care for our members in rural and underserved areas, thus reducing the incidence of untreated health problems and their physical and financial costs. WellCare and GPT are providing the opportunity for these patients to get access to the specialty health services they need without leaving their communities."
"GPT is very excited about WellCare`s vision of providing quality care to their members using telemedicine. We believe that rural citizens can have the same access to top-level physicians as urban areas through technology," said Paula Guy, Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth CEO. "Georgia is leading the way in the telemedicine field, boosted by the growth and development of GPT and its widespread acceptance by physicians and patients throughout Georgia."
WellCare Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids® members should contact their primary care physician in order to access telemedicine services. The local provider will refer the member to the participating specialist, and an appointment will be scheduled through GPT. Upon arriving at the local presenting site for the appointment, the member will meet with the consulting specialist face-to-face via video, with personnel on site trained to facilitate the examination.
About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
WellCare Health Plans, Inc. provides managed care services targeted to government-sponsored health care programs, focusing on Medicaid and Medicare. Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare offers a variety of health plans for families, children, and the aged, blind, and disabled, as well as prescription drug plans. The company serves approximately 2.7 million members nationwide as of Dec. 31, 2012. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company`s website at www.wellcare.com.
About Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth
Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth, Inc. is a charitable nonprofit corporation, which was formed to promote improvements in healthcare and healthcare facilities in rural and underserved communities throughout the state of Georgia by assisting in the establishment of Telemedicine Programs. GPT is known as the leading agency in Georgia focusing on increasing access to healthcare through innovative use of technology including telemedicine, health information exchange and TeleHealth. For more information about Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth, please visit the company`s website as www.gatelehealth.org.
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Source: WellCare Health Plans, Inc. via Thomson Reuters ONE