WellCare Health Plans, Inc. today announced that the WellCare Community Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians (GAFP) to help fund the organization’s Patient Centered Medical Home University. The grant will be used for workshops that help selected Georgia primary care practices achieve recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs).

A PCMH is a health care setting that facilitates partnerships between patients and their personal physicians, and when appropriate, with the patient’s family. Care is facilitated by registries, information technology, health information exchange and other means to ensure that patients get the care they need, when and where they need and want it, and in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.

“WellCare recognizes that primary care providers who transform their practices into functioning PCMHs return higher quality of care and improved preventive care for patients,” said Pamme Taylor, WellCare’s vice president, advocacy and community-based programs. “We look forward to working with the GAFP to help primary care partners advance their practices to better serve Georgians.”

At the end of 2011, only five primary care practices in Georgia were recognized by the NCQA as Patient Centered Medical Homes. The GAFP created its Patient Centered Medical Home University to increase the number of qualifying facilities in the state.

“We are pleased that WellCare has joined our efforts to advance primary care practices in Georgia and help patients receive optimal, ongoing care,” said Fay Fulton Brown, executive vice president of GAFP. “With WellCare’s support, GAFP is committed to raising the number of PCMHs across our state.”

Those selected to participate will include family physicians, pediatricians and general internists specializing in primary care. They will be recruited by GAFP and medical association leaders. WellCare will also identify physicians from its provider network and recommend them for participation.

As of September 30, 2013, WellCare serves approximately 552,000 Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids® plan members, 27,000 Medicare Advantage plan members and 34,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan members in Georgia.

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