Centene and Ascension Announce Letter of Intent for Medicare Advantage Joint Venture
ST. LOUIS, July 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) and Ascension, the nation's largest Catholic and non-profit health system, have signed a letter of intent to explore a joint venture to establish a leading Medicare Advantage (MA) plan. The MA plan would be established as a preferred model for the respective systems and affiliates for Centene and Ascension in multiple geographic markets beginning in 2020.
"We are pleased to pursue this joint venture with Ascension to create a differentiating offering for Medicare Advantage across multiple markets," said Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman and CEO of Centene. "This joint venture will bring together two leaders with decades of experience across markets and creates an opportunity for scaled payer-provider collaboration. We share a commitment of serving the underserved and intend to leverage the best capabilities of both organizations to provide high quality, affordable healthcare to support the needs of low-income seniors."
"Working with Centene to create a new Medicare Advantage plan aligns with our mission of serving those who are vulnerable and struggling the most, which all too often includes our seniors," said Anthony R. Tersigni, EdD, FACHE, President and CEO of Ascension. "We look forward to developing innovative, transformational approaches to serve this growing population in the many communities we serve as part of our advanced strategic direction."
The letter of intent signed by Centene and Ascension is non-binding and the joint venture is subject to due diligence, the negotiation of definitive terms and approval by each company's board of directors, among other conditions.
About Centene Corporation
Centene Corporation, a Fortune 100 company, is a diversified, multi-national healthcare enterprise that provides a portfolio of services to government sponsored and commercial healthcare programs, focusing on under-insured and uninsured individuals. Many receive benefits provided under Medicaid, including the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD), Foster Care and Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS), in addition to other state-sponsored programs, Medicare (including the Medicare prescription drug benefit commonly known as "Part D"), dual eligible programs and programs with the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Centene also provides healthcare services to groups and individuals delivered through commercial health plans. Centene operates local health plans and offers a range of health insurance solutions. It also contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide specialty services including behavioral health management, care management software, correctional healthcare services, dental benefits management, commercial programs, home-based primary care services, life and health management, vision benefits management, pharmacy benefits management, specialty pharmacy and telehealth services.
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Ascension (www.ascension.org) is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world's largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2017, Ascension provided more than $1.8 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Ascension includes approximately 165,000 associates and 34,000 aligned providers. Ascension's Healthcare Division operates more than 2,600 sites of care – including 153 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities – in 22 states and the District of Columbia, while its Solutions Division provides a variety of services and solutions including physician practice management, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineering, facilities management, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension's own group purchasing organization.
The company and its representatives may from time to time make written and oral forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act ("PSLRA") of 1995, including statements in this and other press releases, in presentations, filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), reports to stockholders and in meetings with investors and analysts. In particular, the information provided in this press release may contain certain forward-looking statements with respect to the financial condition, results of operations and business of Centene and certain plans and objectives of Centene with respect thereto, including but not limited to the expected benefits of the acquisition of Health Net, Inc. (Health Net) (Health Net Acquisition) and the acquisition of New York State Catholic Health Plan, Inc., d/b/a Fidelis Care New York (Fidelis Care) (Fidelis Care Acquisition). These forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate only to historical or current facts. Without limiting the foregoing, forward-looking statements often use words such as "believe", "anticipate", "plan", "expect", "estimate", "intend", "seek", "target", "goal", "may", "will", "would", "could", "should", "can", "continue" and other similar words and expressions (and the negative thereof). We intend such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe-harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in PSLRA. A number of factors, variables or events could cause actual plans and results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, Centene's ability to accurately predict and effectively manage health benefits and other operating expenses and reserves; competition; membership and revenue declines or unexpected trends; changes in healthcare practices, new technologies and advances in medicine; increased healthcare costs; changes in economic, political or market conditions; changes in federal or state laws or regulations, including changes with respect to income tax reform or government healthcare programs as well as changes with respect to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act and any regulations enacted thereunder that may result from changing political conditions; rate cuts or other payment reductions or delays by governmental payors and other risks and uncertainties affecting Centene's government businesses; Centene's ability to adequately price products on federally facilitated and state-based Health Insurance Marketplaces; tax matters; disasters or major epidemics; the outcome of legal and regulatory proceedings; changes in expected contract start dates; provider, state, federal and other contract changes and timing of regulatory approval of contracts; the expiration, suspension or termination of Centene's contracts with federal or state governments (including but not limited to Medicaid, Medicare, TRICARE or other customers); the difficulty of predicting the timing or outcome of pending or future litigation or government investigations; challenges to Centene's contract awards; cyber-attacks or other privacy or data security incidents; the possibility that the expected synergies and value creation from acquired businesses, including, without limitation, the Health Net Acquisition and the Fidelis Care Acquisition, will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the exertion of management's time and Centene's resources, and other expenses incurred and business changes required in connection with complying with the undertakings in connection with any regulatory, governmental or third party consents or approvals for the Health Net Acquisition or the Fidelis Care Acquisition; disruption caused by significant completed and pending acquisitions, including the Health Net Acquisition and the Fidelis Care Acquisition, making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; the risk that unexpected costs will be incurred in connection with the completion and/or integration of acquisition transactions, including among others, the Health Net Acquisition and the Fidelis Care Acquisition; changes in expected closing dates, estimated purchase price and accretion for acquisitions; the risk that acquired businesses, including Health Net and Fidelis Care, will not be integrated successfully; the risk that, following the Fidelis Care Acquisition, Centene may not be able to effectively manage its expanded operations; restrictions and limitations in connection with Centene's indebtedness; Centene's ability to achieve improvement in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Star ratings and maintain or achieve improvement in other quality scores in each case that can impact revenue and future growth; availability of debt and equity financing, on terms that are favorable to Centene; inflation; foreign currency fluctuations; and risks and uncertainties discussed in the reports that Centene has filed with the SEC. These forward-looking statements reflect Centene's current views with respect to future events and are based on numerous assumptions and assessments made by Centene in light of its experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, business strategies, operating environments, future developments and other factors it believes appropriate. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are subject to change because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. The factors described in the context of such forward-looking statements in this press release could cause Centene's plans with respect to the Health Net Acquisition, the Fidelis Care Acquisition, actual results, performance or achievements, industry results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. Although it is currently believed that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, no assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct and persons reading this press release are therefore cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements which speak only as of the date of this press release. Centene does not assume any obligation to update the information contained in this press release (whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise), except as required by applicable law. This list of important factors is not intended to be exhaustive. We discuss certain of these matters more fully, as well as certain other risk factors that may affect Centene's business operations, financial condition and results of operations, in Centene's filings with the SEC, including the annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K.