The transaction could give the combined company more power to enhance its efforts to address the social determinants of health.
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Centene today announced that it will acquire WellCare Health Plans in a cash and stock transaction for a total enterprise value of $17.3 billion in an attempt to create a “premier healthcare enterprise focused on government-sponsored healthcare programs.”
According to the announcement, the transaction will enable the newly combined company to provide access to more comprehensive and differentiated solutions across more markets with a continued focus on affordable, high-quality, culturally-sensitive healthcare services.
“With the addition of WellCare, we expect to bolster and diversify our product offerings, increase our scale and have access to new markets, which will in turn, enable us to continue investing in technology and better serve members with innovative programs designed to meet their needs,” said Michael F. Neidorff, CEO and chairman of Centene.
Centene and WellCare representatives claim the deal will give the combined company more power to enhance its efforts to address the social determinants of health, such as food insecurity, housing instability, homelessness, unemployment, lack of access to transportation and other non-medical barriers to health.
“We expect to apply Centene’s strong technology foundation across the combined company,” Neidorff said during a conference call this morning. “At our core, Centene is becoming a technology company that does healthcare. We are constantly working to redefine what we can do with technology to transform the health of our communities in bold and pioneering ways.”
The combined company will serve approximately 22 million individuals across all 50 states in the U.S. and will offer products to more 12 million Medicaid and 5 million Medicare recipients.
The companies expect the deal to close in the first half of 2020.
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