May 30, 2018

Around the nation: WellCare to buy Median Health Plans for $2.5B

Daily Briefing

    WellCare CEO Kenneth Burdick said the deal "will grow and diversify [WellCare's] Medicaid and Medicare Advantage businesses," in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Alabama, Florida, Michigan, and Minnesota.

    • Alabama: Pickens County Medical Center was awarded a $2 million grant to improve the hospital's overall operations. The grant is part of a three-year program administered by the Delta Regional Community Health Systems Development Program. Nine hospitals in five states, including Alabama, were selected to receive grants through the program (AP/Sacramento Bee, 5/28).

    • Florida/Michigan: WellCare Health Plans, a managed care company, on Tuesday announced it plans to buy Median Health Plans, which runs a pharmacy benefits manager and health plans, for $2.5 billion. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Meridian, based in Detroit, has about 1.1 million members in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, while WellCare, based in Tampa, has about 4.3 million members nationwide. WellCare CEO Kenneth Burdick said the deal "will grow and diversify [WellCare's] Medicaid and Medicare Advantage businesses" (Livingston, Modern Healthcare, 5/29; Al-Muslim, Wall Street Journal, 5/29; Reuters, 5/29).

    • Minnesota: Minnesota officials last week submitted a federal waiver request to use Medicaid funding for residential addiction treatment centers in an effort to combat the opioid epidemic. Under current rules, Medicaid funding may not be used to pay for care at residential addiction treatment centers that have more than 16 beds (Serres, Star Tribune, 5/24).

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