Quantcast

WellPoint Expands Specialty Pharmacy and Managed Care Medicaid Operations In Indiana

December 4, 2006

INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — WellPoint, Inc. announced today that it is significantly expanding operations of its specialty pharmacy business in Indiana. The company will house its rapidly growing PrecisionRx Specialty Solutions (PRxSS) operations in Indianapolis. PrecisionRx Specialty Solutions is a full-service specialty pharmacy unit created to more effectively coordinate care and distribute specialty drugs such as therapies for hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, hemophilia, infertility, respiratory syncytial virus prevention, psoriasis and transplants. The company does this in collaboration with physicians, pharmacists and patients to more effectively manage the patient’s medication and condition.

In addition, WellPoint is continuing to expand its managed care Medicaid services operations in the Midwest to provide health care benefits to enrollees in state managed care programs. In total, WellPoint will create 1,200 new positions in Indiana over the next five years as a result of these two initiatives.

“WellPoint today is delivering more benefits to its members than ever before while helping to increase access to care and hold down the rising costs of health care. The expansion of both our specialty pharmacy business and managed care Medicaid services will further those efforts,” said Larry C. Glasscock, chairman, president and chief executive officer of WellPoint, Inc. “A core focus for WellPoint is to find real solutions to the most complex health care issues facing our country today and to truly transform health care for the better.”

“One thousand new jobs from IBM last week, and now 1,200 high-paying WellPoint jobs. It’s a great cap to a record-breaking year of job creation for Hoosiers. In particular, WellPoint’s decision means a great new set of career opportunities for graduates of our pharmacy schools, and further strengthens the state’s position as a leader in the health care industry,” said Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.

“Today’s announcement is a home run for Indianapolis and all of Central Indiana. Not only are we celebrating the tremendous expansion of a homegrown, industry-leading company and ushering in 1,200 new, good paying jobs — we’re further strengthening our life sciences sector and establishing another great reuse for the former United facility,” Mayor Bart Peterson said. “WellPoint’s commitment caps what has been an exceptional year for our local economy, further establishing our position as the Midwestern leader in job creation and economic development.”

Specialty pharmaceuticals comprise a rapidly growing segment of the health care industry. The substantial growth of WellPoint’s PrecisionRx Specialty Solutions reflects the need for increased resources in the area of personal care coordination. Consumers who enroll in WellPoint’s specialty pharmacy programs benefit in a number of ways that include better education, better access to medication assistance programs and better medical outcomes. This is accomplished by providing one-on-one service and support from personal care coordinators, ensuring members understand pharmaceutical treatments (including side effects and drug interactions) and coordination of patient-physician follow up visits.

WellPoint’s corporate expansion will create 900 jobs in Indiana to support the company’s growing specialty pharmacy business and will create approximately 300 new jobs to support WellPoint’s expanded managed care Medicaid operations. The jobs will include a range of administrative, business and professional positions including: call center representatives, pharmacy technicians, registered nurses, registered pharmacists, business analysts and data analysts.

While WellPoint is adding jobs in Indianapolis, up to 100 new positions are also being created in Ohio as NextRx, the company’s pharmacy benefit management company (PBM), continues to expand. NextRx serves millions of enrollees with clinical management programs, drug formulary management, claims processing, benefit design consultation and pharmacy network management. WellPoint has a significant presence in Ohio that includes the state’s largest health plan in addition to the nation’s fourth largest PBM.

WellPoint’s managed care Medicaid expansion will provide health care benefits through its Indiana plan beginning in 2007. The expansion will provide benefits to enrollees in the Hoosier Healthwise Medicaid managed care program, joining WellPoint’s two million members currently served through Medicaid, State Children’s Health Insurance Programs and other publicly funded health care programs for underserved populations nationwide. WellPoint’s state sponsored business will serve approximately 2.5 million members as of January 2007.

The operations for PrecisionRx Specialty Solutions will be located at the Indianapolis International Airport in an office and distribution complex. A total of approximately 120,000 square feet of space will be utilized and will consist of a national call center and facilities for handling specialty pharmaceuticals.

WellPoint will open its new facilities by the end of the first quarter 2007 and will phase in operations throughout the year. WellPoint employment information is available at http://www.wellpoint.com/careers. More information about the benefits and services provided by PrecisionRx Specialty Solutions is available at http://www.precisionrxspecialtysolutions.com/.

About WellPoint, Inc.

WellPoint’s mission is to improve the lives of the people it serves and the health of its communities. WellPoint, Inc. is the largest health benefits company in terms of commercial membership in the United States. Through its nationwide networks, the company delivers a number of leading health benefit solutions through a broad portfolio of integrated health care plans and related services, along with a wide range of specialty products such as life and disability insurance benefits, pharmacy benefit management, dental, vision, behavioral health benefit services, as well as long term care insurance and flexible spending accounts. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, WellPoint is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at http://www.wellpoint.com/ .

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995

Statements in this press release regarding WellPoint’s business which are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year, and the Company’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for each of the completed quarters in the current fiscal year.

WellPoint, Inc.

CONTACT: Media: James P. Kappel, +1-317-488-6400, or Investor Relations:Wayne S. DeVeydt, +1-317-488-6390, both of WellPoint, Inc.

Web site: http://www.wellpoint.com/




comments powered by Disqus