Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) today announced an initiative to promote provider participation in the national Back Pain Recognition Program (BPRP) developed by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The BPRP was launched in January 2007 to recognize healthcare providers who deliver top-quality care to patients with low back pain. One in nine Americans suffer from back pain each year; related treatment costs total approximately $91 billion annually.
Centene and its health plans will support its network physicians in participating in the BPRP through data collection assistance and financial support with application fees. In the second quarter of 2008, the company and NCQA will host workshops to provide hands-on assistance to physicians in each of the markets in which Centene operates health plans. Centene will highlight the physicians recognized in the program in press releases, as well as in marketing materials such as its physician newsletters and health plan websites.
“Centene knows that strong partnerships with physicians are key to providing top-quality care for our members,” said Mary Mason, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Centene. “We are providing both administrative and financial support to encourage our network physicians to participate in a program that we believe will effectively promote guidance and standards for back pain care for our members.”
“‘Do no harm’ is a bedrock principle of medicine,” said NCQA President Margaret E. O’Kane. “But needless tests and procedures that provide no real benefit to the patient do nothing but harm. There’s a strong desire for guidance on what represents top-quality care, and that’s what the BPRP represents. Centene’s support for this program is laudable, and I hope even more plans follow suit.”
For more information about the BPRP, including complete application materials and the BPRP data collection tool for physicians wishing to apply for the program, visit NCQA’s website at www.ncqa.org.
About Centene Corporation
Centene Corporation is a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise that provides programs and related services to individuals receiving benefits under Medicaid, including the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The Company operates health plans in Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin. In addition, the Company contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide specialty services including behavioral health, life and health management, long-term care, managed vision, nurse triage, pharmacy benefits management and treatment compliance. Information regarding Centene is available via the Internet at www.centene.com.
NCQA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA is the nation’s leading developer of health care evaluation tools, including health plan accreditation, physician recognition and organization certification. NCQA also is responsible for the evolution of HEDIS®, the nation’s most widely used set of health care performance measures. NCQA is committed to providing health care quality information through the Web, media and data licensing agreements in order to help consumers, employers and others make more informed health choices. For more information, visit www.ncqa.org.
Sandy McBride, 314-725-4477
Director, Corporate Communications