Bob Atlas Quoted in “Anthem’s Amerigroup Unit, N.C. Blues Team Up to Compete for State’s Managed Care Reboot”

AIS Health

Bob Atlas, a Strategic Advisor and President of EBG Advisors, Inc., in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in AIS Health, in “Anthem’s Amerigroup Unit, N.C. Blues Team Up to Compete for State’s Managed Care Reboot,” by Lauren Kelly and Judy Packer-Tursman.

Following is an excerpt:

Amerigroup, with its national footprint in Medicaid, “brings operational competencies, while a local partner can bring the provider relations. That may work for a more potent combination,” says Bob Atlas, president of the EBG Advisors consulting unit of health care law firm Epstein, Becker & Green. He has advised the state of North Carolina on its ongoing Medicaid transformation.

As companies seek growth opportunities that didn’t materialize with Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges, Medicaid managed care “is an important market for many companies — and a desirable place to be,” Atlas says. “A Blues plan has a strong local presence, a good relationship with local providers, and influential positioning with the state, but they may not have the capabilities needed to succeed in Medicaid versus the employer-group market.” By contrast, Amerigroup “was created as a Medicaid managed care company,” he says. “That’s always been its specialty.” …

Atlas calls the combination a “logical partnership,” given that “Amerigroup has a big track record in Medicaid and they both have Blues connections.” But he notes that this is just the latest in a string of partnerships “happening on the ground in the state to position well to win this small number of contracts.” Centene Corp., for example, has partnered with the North Carolina Community Health Center Association and the North Carolina Medical Society to form a joint venture that would establish, organize and operate a physician-led health plan to provide Medicaid managed care services in the state.