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Wellcare Health Plans acquires Advicare's Medicaid business

As part of the transaction, Regional HealthPlus joined WellCare's healthcare provider network in South Carolina

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

WellCare Health Plans has completed its acquisition of Advicare Corp.'s Medicaid business, which includes the transfer of approximately 30,000 members to WellCare of South Carolina.

The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

As part of the transaction, Regional HealthPlus joined WellCare's healthcare provider network in South Carolina, effective Wednesday.

Regional HealthPlus offers its services through three member hospitals: Spartanburg Medical Center, Pelham Medical Center and Union Medical Center, as well as more than 500 physicians and allied health professionals. Additionally, Regional HealthPlus includes four ambulatory surgery centers and a number of ancillary providers. U.S. News and World Report ranked Spartanburg Medical Center the top regional hospital in South Carolina in 2014-15.

[Also: Tracking 2015 mergers and acquisitions]

Advicare Medicaid members will continue to receive all of their 2016 plan benefits, and will now also receive WellCare's value-added benefits, including $120 credit toward over-the-counter supplies and the healthy rewards program. The program incentivizes members for completing preventive health, wellness and engagement milestones.

Members will be sent a new ID card, member handbook and provider information within 14 days. Their providers should now use the WellCare claims submission process. Providers will also be sent additional information.

A December 2015 PricewaterhouseCoopers report caled 2016 the "year of merger mania." Records for mergers and acquisitions were broken last year, and most predicted comparable activity for this year.

As of March 31, WellCare serves approximately 61,000 Medicaid, 3,000 Medicare Advantage and 13,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in South Carolina.

Twitter: @JELagasse

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