Centene invests in cloud-based pharmacy benefit manager to to create next generation pharmacy management solution

Centene Corporation announced Tuesday it has invested in RxAdvance, a cloud-based pharmacy benefit manager based in Massachusetts.

Clayton-based Centene said it will “use its best-in-class technology platform to improve health outcomes and reduce avoidable drug-impacted medical and administrative costs.” In addition to the investment, the deal includes a customer relationship. Centene has the right to expand its equity investment in the future.

Financial terms in the deal were not disclosed.

“Centene has established a transformative partnership with RxAdvance to create its next generation pharmacy management solution,” Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman and CEO of Centene, said in a statement. “RxAdvance’s transparency, disruptive technology, and unique approach to partnership will help us further improve quality health outcomes for our members and other customers, while managing healthcare costs.”

Ravi Ika, RxAdvance founder and CEO, will stay in her role as the head of the company and said both companies recognized the need for the investment.

“For the past few years, the PBM industry has been under pressure as employers and payers recognize the need for both technology innovation and new business models. RxAdvance has positioned itself as a true transformative partner who together with Centene will drive change by empowering stakeholders across the care continuum,” Ika said in a statement. “Together, we will create an industry standard of excellence.”

John Sculley, former CEO of Apple, will remain as Chairman and Chief Marketing Officer. Jesse Hunter, Executive Vice President, Mergers and Acquisitions and Chief Strategy Officer for Centene, has joined the RxAdvance Board effective immediately.

Centene Corporation, a Fortune 100 company, is a diversified, multi-national healthcare enterprise that provides a portfolio of services to government sponsored and commercial healthcare programs, focusing on under-insured and uninsured individuals.

Many receive benefits provided under Medicaid, including the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD), Foster Care and Long-Term Services (LTSS), in addition to other state-sponsored programs, Medicare (including the Medicare prescription drug benefit commonly known as “Part D”), dual eligible programs and programs with the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Centene also provides healthcare services to groups and individuals delivered through commercial health plans. Centene operates local health plans and offers a range of health insurance solutions.

It also contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide specialty services including behavioral health management, care management software, correctional healthcare services, dental benefits management, commercial programs, home-based primary care services, life and health management, vision benefits management, pharmacy benefits management, specialty pharmacy and telehealth services.

The investment comes a few weeks after Centene announced it was acquiring Community Medical Holdings Corp., a Florida-based medical group that serves Medicaid patients, and just a few days after health insurer Cigna agreed to buy St. Louis-based Express Scripts.

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