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CareSource partners with Akron Children’s Hospital to create coordinated care model

08-30-2021 (Akron, Mahoning Valley, Ohio )

CareSource, a nationally-recognized nonprofit health plan, announced today a value-based partnership with Akron Children’s Hospital to improve health and outcomes for thousands of children in Northeast Ohio who rely on Medicaid. The agreement between the health insurer and the hospital system focuses on improving outcomes for children and reducing the overall cost of health care.

“CareSource’s history is built on breaking down the barriers of health care to increase access to seamless high-quality cost-effective care,” said Steve Ringel, CareSource Ohio Market President.  “Our partnership with Akron Children’s Hospital will continue to support our youngest members and their families in northeast Ohio.”

Starting Oct. 1, 2021, Akron Children’s and CareSource will launch a collaboration aimed at improving the health of approximately 100,000 Medicaid-covered children currently enrolled in CareSource who reside in 13 counties in Northeast Ohio.

Akron Children’s will assume accountability for care management for these children under a new company, the Akron Children’s Health Collaborative, a provider-led pediatric Accountable Care Organization (ACO). The Akron Children’s Health Collaborative was created to improve child health through family-centered care coordination, an engaged network of providers and a unified focus on quality, access and health equity.

“CareSource has successfully partnered with other children’s hospitals in Ohio, and Akron Children’s believes this model will be a win-win for our patients and providers of care to children in northeast Ohio as well,” said Grace Wakulchik, president and CEO of Akron Children's Hospital.

“We like the focus on preventive care and ensuring our patients get the right care, when and where they need it. The accountable care model allows our providers to take a more active role in shaping the health care system for their patients. They welcome new opportunities for quality improvement and making data-driven decisions that, ultimately, keep kids healthy and out of the hospital,” Wakulchik added.

Akron Children’s Health Collaborative is committed to partnering with CareSource and the community to ensure the most vulnerable children get the care they need in the right setting and at the most appropriate level. That will include partnerships with Federally Qualified Health Centers, community pediatricians and family medicine providers to better integrate care.

“Working collaboratively with our provider partners enables the strengths of both organizations to be combined and further our shared goal of providing first-class health care to the children in our communities, thus improving not only their health but also the quality of their lives,” said Dale J. Block, M.D., VP, Market Chief Medical Officer for CareSource. 

As the state’s largest managed care provider, CareSource manages benefits for children enrolled in
Medicaid plans in Ohio. Akron Children’s Hospital joins the CareSource ACO network across the state of Ohio, in partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Dayton Children’s Hospital and Nationwide Children’s in Columbus. CareSource provides health benefits for nearly 670,000 Ohio children. The company aims to make population improvements through greater levels of integration and improved health care outcomes.