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Recently, WellCare Health Plans Inc. (WCG - Snapshot Report) inked a deal with the Georgia Partnership for TeleHealth Inc. (GPT) to allow the Georgia Medicaid and young members of PeachCare for Kids to access specialty health care services.  

Through the deal the WellCare members in the rural and underserved areas, would be widely exposed to one of the leading and highly developed nation wide telemedicine networks.  It will allow its members to access top level physicians and health services similar to the urban areas and thus reduce the number of untreated health problems and the physical and financial costs associated with them. The deal allows these patients to remain in their communities and yet receive the necessary specialty health services.

GPT’s telemedicine network and services will allow WellCare members to easily access over 200 specialists at over 300 patient locations in over 40 adult and pediatric specialties.

To access the telemedicine services, WellCare Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids members would be required to contact their primary care physicians. Subsequently, the local provider will submit the member’s name to the participating specialist and GPT will then allot an appointment to the member. Next, the member will have to reach the local presenting site for the appointment where the patient will encounter the consulting specialist face-to-face via video with a trained person on site to assist him.

GPT is dedicated towards exposing such vulnerable populations to healthcare facilities through innovative use of technology. People who are restricted by geographic or time limitations in receiving specialty care, are evaluated, educated and treated by the company over a secure network through an interactive video session. Over the past few years, GPT has continuously increased such telehealth sessions at an accelerated pace, starting from eight in 2006 to over 70,000 in 2012. The above deal will increase the number of beneficiaries of GPT

WellCare has been continuously working towards enhancing its services. Recently, Wellcare revealed that the New York Department of Health (DOH) has sanctioned expansion of its New York Advocate Medicaid Managed Long-Term Care (MLTC) health plans. The expansion will allow for WellCare to operate in four new counties namely Nassau, Richmond, Suffolk and Westchester. The plan offers necessary services to enable the vulnerable to enhance their standard of living.

Earlier this month, U.S. health insurer Aetna Inc. (AET - Analyst Report) agreed to form an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) with Texas Health Resources. This is in sync with the company’s effort to improve the safety and quality of patient care and make health care more affordable.

WellCare currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Among others from the industry, Aethlon Medical Inc. (AEMD) and Coventry Healthcare Inc. carry a favorable Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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