Centene is sensitive to the needs of individuals and families enrolled in government-assisted health programs. The company provides managed care and related services in more than a dozen states under names such as Managed Health Services (Wisconsin and Indiana), Superior HealthPlan (Texas), and Buckeye Community Health Plan (Ohio). Centene provides services to some 1.8 million low-income, elderly, and disabled people receiving Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and state Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) benefits. Centene also offers specialty services in areas such as behavioral health (through its Cenpatico unit), vision benefits (OptiCare), and pharmacy benefits management (US Script).
Centene's health plans provide services through a network of more than 30,000 primary care physicians, 95,000 specialists, and 1,250 hospitals in 12 states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Centene's Medicaid managed care contracts account for three-fourths of revenues. Its largest contracts are with the states of Texas (26% of sales), Georgia (13%), and Ohio (10%). In other areas of operations, the company has expanded its specialty services to include telehealth advisory (NurseWise) and disease and wellness management (Nurtur). In addition, Centene's Celtic Insurance subsidiary specializes in providing low-cost consumer-directed insurance policies to uninsured customers nationwide, and its Bridgeway Health Solutions provides long-term care policies in select territories.
Centene's revenues rose 20% in 2011 to some $5.3 billion and net income rose 17% to $111 million, building on a steady growth rate over the last decade. The healthy financial performance in 2011 was attributed to increased Medicaid and specialty service contracts that boosted enrollment levels.
Centene's primary growth strategies are to enter new markets and expand in existing markets via acquisitions and by gaining new contracts with state Medicaid agencies. In 2011 it entered the Kentucky, Mississippi, and Illinois Medicaid markets; additional new contracts brought the firm into new areas of Texas in 2011 and 2012 as well. In addition, the company was granted a contract to begin providing Medicaid services in Kansas at the start of 2013. Centene is benefitting from the growing number of mandated managed care plans in states that are looking to control Medicaid spending.
In addition to geographic expansion, the company looks to grow its membership by adding new services in its existing state markets, such as small business health plans and low-income individual plans. It also evaluates opportunities to grow in new fields, such as health-related information technology and non-Medicaid health plans. Centene also occasionally divests operations in smaller service areas to focus on its core growth regions. – less