AMFC President and CEO and MHPA Chairman Michael A. Rashid Kicks Off Medicaid Industry's Premier Conference

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Michael A. Rashid, president and CEO of AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies (AMFC) and chairman of Medicaid Health Plans of America's (MHPA) Board of Directors, will join several AMFC senior executives who will address nearly 500 Medicaid and health care industry leaders at MHPA's 2012 Annual Meeting October 24-26 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

MHPA is the leading national organization solely dedicated to representing health plans participating in Medicaid managed care. It provides advocacy, research and organized forums that support the development of policy solutions to enhance the delivery of quality health care.

Rashid, who was named chairman in May 2012, will kick off the conference with an analysis of the transforming landscape of one of the most important segments of health care today. Among the topics he'll discuss are the upcoming changes in the Medicaid industry and how MHPA and its business partners will help member health plans navigate this exciting new era in health care.

"This is a critical, pivotal time for the health care industry, in general, and Medicaid health plans, in particular," said Rashid. "We are being asked to serve new and more complex populations, and our industry is responding with new models of outcomes-based, integrated care. The 2012 Annual Meeting is a forum for MHPA to provide its members with the information they need to manage this transformation and position themselves for success."

Mesfin Tegenu, M.S., RPh, president of PerformRx, and Lauren Brophy, PharmD, manager, drug therapy management for PerformRx, will demonstrate how their company's drug therapy management programs help reduce emergency room visits, inpatient admissions and health plan costs at a panel at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 25. PerformRx was awarded a full Drug Therapy Management Accreditation from URAC earlier this year.

"A well-executed, collaborative drug therapy management model, including case managers, pharmacists and prescribers, can help optimize medication management for members on complex medication regimens," said Tegenu. "These programs can contribute to providing higher quality and more efficient care."

In addition, Andrea Gelzer, M.D., AMFC's senior vice president and corporate chief medical officer, will participate in a pre-conference panel discussion on identifying and addressing diabetes disparities in Medicaid, which will take place at noon on Wednesday, October 24. Minority populations are disproportionately affected by diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, 18.7 percent of all African-Americans aged 20 years or older have diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes, compared to 11.3 percent for all Americans aged 20 years or older.

Also, Jay Feldstein, D.O., AMFC's regional president, Northern Division, will speak about access to education and its role in improving health outcomes at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 25. Studies have found a correlation between levels of education and health outcomes. For example, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Commission to Build a Healthier America, citing multiple data sources, found that babies born to mothers with more education have lower infant mortality rates and that children born to more educated parents have better health.

MHPA's 2012 Annual Meeting, which boasts Medicaid health insurer executives, pharmacy benefits managers, government agency staffers, political analysts, and news media among their attendees, is the largest Medicaid managed care conference in the country. AMFC is the exclusive Chairman's Sponsor of this event.

About AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies

AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies (AMFC) is one of the nation's leaders in health care solutions for the underserved. AMFC operates in 12 states and serves more than 4.5 million Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP members through its Medicaid managed care products, pharmaceutical benefit management services, behavioral health services and other administrative services. Headquartered in Philadelphia, AMFC is a mission-driven company with 30 years of experience serving low-income and chronically ill populations. For more information, visit

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Source: AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies