AGP Florida Announces Partnership
Amerigroup Partnership with 51 Miami-Dade School Based Health Centers Expands Access to Care for Students, Families
PLANTATION, Fl. (March 13, 2014) – Amerigroup Florida has announced a first of its kind partnership with 51 school based health centers (SHBCs) in Miami-Dade County Public Schools expanding access to care for thousands of students, their families and other individuals enrolled in its Medicaid health plan. SBHCs are licensed, modern in-school health centers where members can receive a wide range of high quality health care services from the plan’s contracted providers.
Approximately 5,000 school-aged Amerigroup members in Miami-Dade are just steps away from a doctor, physician assistant or nurse practitioner located in a SBHC. The centers are open during school hours and plans are underway to offer extended morning, evening and weekend hours providing even greater access for parents and other plan members. An estimated 10,000 members could potentially get their healthcare services at SBHCs by year’s end. The plan’s contracted SBHC health providers include the University Miami Miller School of Medicine and Community Health of South Florida (CHI).
"Creating innovative and new pathways for members where they can more easily get the care and services they need is an ongoing discussion at Amerigroup," said Florida plan President, Rosy Cozad. "This is the first of several partnerships we are exploring designed to bring health care closer to members, increase well-child visits, improve health outcomes, reduce cost and remove obstacles like transportation, time off from work and loss of wages."
SBHCs offer a nearby setting for children in need of health care services and treatment who often have difficulty getting to the traditional doctor office setting. “The center is very convenient, I know my son will get great care at school, and now I won’t have to miss work or leave work early to take him to the doctor,” said Lidgmy Smith a single Miami mother.
"Amerigroup’s commitment to the SBHCs delivery model gives us the opportunity to extend our services to make it easier for their members and other underserved children and families in the community to get the high quality health care they need," said Ret. Colonel Brodes Hartley, Jr., CEO of CHI who operates 42 SBHCs. "Health plan partnerships provide an additional, valued source of health care funding that helps reduce our reliance on grants and government monies to provide school based health services."
The plan is working closely with SBHCs to identify and engage members who attend schools with centers and are in need of required care such as well-child visits and immunizations. Care for chronic conditions such as asthma is available on site as well as Telehealth where members can video conference with a dermatologist or mental health counselor. SBHCs typically provide a combination of primary care, substance abuse counseling, case management, dental health, nutrition education, health education and health promotion activities. Center staff is integrated into the school’s curriculum and involve parents in school activities.
"Amerigroup recognizes the advantages in terms of both quality and cost to be gained when care is given in school based health centers," said Dr. Arthur Fournier who oversees SBHCs in North Dade. "It's a simple but elegant idea – healthy students perform better in school, have better attendance and help ensure the entire student body stays healthier."
In 2013, Amerigroup was awarded a five-year contract by the Agency for Health Care Administration to participate in the state’s new Medicaid Medical Managed Assistance (MMA) program. The MMA program was enacted by the Florida Legislature in 2012 and is expected to increase enrollment in managed care plans to 98 percent as Medicaid beneficiaries move from the state’s fee for service model into a coordinated care setting designed to deliver the right care, in the right place at the right time – and has been shown to both improve the care of members and reduce costs.
About Amerigroup Florida
Amerigroup Florida has provided health care coverage in the state since 2003. We currently serve 237,000 members in the Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Supplemental Security Income/Aged, Blind and Disabled (SSI/ABD), and Long-Term Care (LTC) programs. We are licensed in 67 counties in the Gulf, central and south Florida regions. Based on the previously awarded contract, we expect to begin serving new members in mid-2014 in four separate Florida regions, 13 counties in all, including Pasco and Pinellas; Hillsborough, Manatee, Hardee, Polk and Highlands; Miami-Dade and Monroe; Seminole, Orange, Osceola and Brevard. We also offer Medicare Advantage plans.