Centene Corporation announces it has partnered with the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) on an initiative to increase the accessibility of provider medical offices and services for people with disabilities.

This initiative, called the Provider Accessibility Initiative (PAI), will kick off with the “Barrier Removal Fund” (BRF) in three pilot states—Illinois, Texas, and Ohio—as well as educational and compliance components that will be implemented in all Centene markets nationwide.

The goal of the PAI is to improve member access and health outcomes by increasing the percentage of practitioner locations and services in Centene’s network that meet minimum federal and state disability access standards, according to a media release from Centene.

“Studies have shown that Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities receive less preventive care due to inaccessible provider exam rooms and/or diagnostic equipment. Through this partnership, Centene and NCIL aim to solve a vital national problem and key social determinant of health for people with disabilities and their companions,” says Dr Ken Yamaguchi, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Centene.

“NCIL is proud to partner with Centene to address the critical issue of increasing the accessibility of medical offices and services for people with disabilities,” states Kelly Buckland, executive director for NCIL, per the release.

The PAI will have several components including:

  • Educating health plan staff in Centene’s markets nationwide about disability access requirements and available tools to assist with compliance and enforcement;
  • Improving the accuracy, completeness, and transparency of disability access data in our provider directories; and
  • Offering Centene participating providers in pilot states with competitive access to a national Barrier Removal Fund. Providers chosen for awards will receive an on-site disability accessibility review completed by a local Center for Independent Living (CIL) and funding to remediate priority disability access barriers.

[Source(s): Centene Corporation, PR Newswire]