Press Release

WellCare's Dr. Howard Shaps to Serve on Expert Panel for National Quality Forum's Medicaid Innovation Project

Company Release - 1/10/2017 8:30 AM ET

TAMPA, Fla. and LOUISVILLE, Ky., Jan. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) announced today that Dr. Howard Shaps, WellCare of Kentucky's medical director, has been appointed to serve on a newly formed National Quality Forum (NQF) technical expert panel for the organization's Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Project. Beginning Jan. 10, NQF will convene experts to identify and recommend measure sets to support states' ongoing efforts related to Medicaid payment and delivery system reforms.

Medicaid is the U.S. public health insurance program for people with low income and the nation's largest insurer, covering more than 74 million Americans, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). As a result, federal efforts increasingly focus on improving the quality and value of Medicaid programs. CMS launched the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Project in 2014 with the goal of improving health and health care for Medicaid beneficiaries by supporting states' efforts to tie Medicaid payments to high-value care.

Under the project, experts will analyze four priority areas important to Medicaid delivery system reform, including:

  • Reducing substance use disorders;
  • Care for Medicaid beneficiaries with complex care needs and high costs;
  • Community integration through community-based long-term services and supports;
  • Physical and mental health integration.

Dr. Shaps will serve as a technical expert on the Medicaid Beneficiaries with Complex Care Needs and High Costs panel.

"As states continue to expand Medicaid programs, they are increasingly looking for new and innovative ways to improve quality and lower costs," said Kelly Munson, WellCare's executive vice president, Medicaid. "We are pleased Dr. Shaps will have an opportunity to offer his expertise and provide guidance on the important work NQF is doing to support the Medicaid program and help our country's most vulnerable populations live better, healthier lives."

"I am honored to serve on NQF's Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Project and look forward to working with my committee colleagues to make a meaningful difference in the way Medicaid programs provide high-value, quality health care," said Dr. Shaps.

In his role as WellCare of Kentucky's medical director, Dr. Shaps is responsible for overseeing the clinical direction of medical services and quality functions in the state.

Dr. Shaps earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Michigan, his doctor of medicine from the Boston University School of Medicine and his MBA from the University of Louisville College of Business. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Emergency Medicine and holds active medical licenses in Kentucky and Indiana.

To learn more about the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Project, visit NQF's website.

About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) focuses exclusively on providing government-sponsored managed care services, primarily through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, to families, children, seniors and individuals with complex medical needs. The company served approximately 3.8 million members nationwide as of Sept. 30, 2016. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company's website at

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SOURCE WellCare Health Plans, Inc.