Care1st Health Plan Arizona signs value based agreement with Equality Health to offer an expanded network and culturally competent services

Published: December 11, 2017

Care1st Health Plan Arizona, Inc., a WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) company, announced today that it signed a value-based agreement with Equality Health to expand its Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) (Medicaid) provider network, enhance its range of services, and to provide care that considers the cultural needs of each member.

Under the agreement, Equality Health and Care1st will collaborate to offer AHCCCS (Medicaid) members a broad network of doctors dedicated to delivering integrated, holistic services. All the doctors in this network are required to participate and adhere to a culture care training model to help ensure that members are receiving culturally sensitive care.

By integrating culturally competent competency in shared decision-making and customer-centric approaches into practice, doctors can build trusting relationships that help support prescription adherence, heighten satisfaction, reduce unnecessary use of acute care services and improve self-care management.

This includes using the CareEmpower technology platform, which allows doctors to pull the latest health information on patients.

“We’re proud to partner with Equality Health in order to provide more innovative and cultural competent services while utilizing an advanced technology platform that will enhance how we access healthcare data,” said Scott Cummings, state president at Care1st. “Overall, these developments will help promote greater health outcomes for our members.”

Additionally, care coordination will be available for members who need more support such as those with chronic conditions. This process also includes a Health Access Survey that will identify social determinants of health that could affect members’ care.

These social determinants include factors such as residing in food desert areas, lack of walkability, and so on. Based on the needs identified, members will be linked to community organizations that offer valuable social and human services like food programs, transportation and housing, just to name a few.

“Care coordination is a key piece of our overall goal to change the current standard in health care,” said Hugh Lytle, Equality Health Founder and CEO. “More than simply addressing people’s basic medical needs, we need to recognize and find solutions for challenges with language, health literacy and cultural and social factors that have created these large disparities for a growing portion of our society. We need to treat the whole patient, and this is a major step in that direction.”

As of Sept. 30, 2017, Care1st serves approximately 156,000 AHCCCS (Medicaid) members, 2,000 Medicare Advantage Special Needs members, and 21,000 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) members.

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 serves approximately 4.3 million members nationwide as of Sept. 30, 2017. For more information about WellCare, please visit the company’s website at or view the company’s videos at

About Equality Health

Equality Health, LLC is an Arizona-based integrated delivery system focused on improving care delivery for underserved populations through culturally-sensitive programs that improve access, quality and patient trust. Through an integrated technology and services platform, culturally competent provider network and unique cultural care model, Equality Health helps managed care plans and health systems improve care for the Hispanic population while simultaneously making the transition to risk-based accountability. For more information about Equality Health, visit or follow @EqualityHealth on Facebook and @EqualityHealth on Twitter.