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Highmark West Virginia and West Virginia Family Health add Huntington residential infant recovery center to commercial PPO and Medicaid HMO networks

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (Oct. 1, 2015) — Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia and West Virginia Family Health announced today that Lily's Place, a residential recovery center for infants in Huntington, has signed a three-year contract agreement to join their commercial PPO and Medicaid HMO networks effective July 1, 2015.

"Highmark West Virginia is pleased to partner with Lily's Place to offer its services to our commercial PPO and Medicaid HMO members," said Fred Earley, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia and West Virginia Family Health. "This one-of-a-kind West Virginia facility is fulfilling a critical need in the state, particularly in Huntington, where infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome is a growing public health problem."

Lily's Place provides immediate, short-term care to infants suffering from prenatal drug exposure and offers non-judgmental support, education and counseling to families, all at a savings to the taxpayers of West Virginia. Since opening its doors in October 2014, Lily's Place has been a temporary home for more than 50 babies.

"We are grateful to Highmark West Virginia for recognizing the importance of our program and for choosing to allow us to serve their members. This partnership will make it possible for us to provide care and support to more babies and families who are affected by the growing epidemic of addiction," said Rebecca Crowder, executive director, Lily's Place.

West Virginia Family Health, a Medicaid managed care organization formed through an innovative partnership between 22 West Virginia Federally Qualified Health Centers, two primary clinics, the West Virginia Primary Care Association and Highmark West Virginia, has also added Lily's Place to its Medicaid HMO network. Highmark West Virginia is responsible for managing the organization's overall operations, administration and provider network.

"This is an incredible opportunity to provide the best care possible for those who are often among the most needy and vulnerable in our communities," said Jason Landers, vice president, Medicaid markets, West Virginia Family Health. "This partnership will provide drug-addicted babies and their families with access to the care and support they need to create a healthy family."

According to a study published by Vanderbilt University, the number of infants born in the United States with drug withdrawal symptoms nearly doubled from 2009 to 2012, with more than 80 percent of the infants enrolled in state Medicaid programs. Additionally, national health care expenditures for treating babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome grew from $731 million in 2009 to nearly $1.5 billion in 2012.

About Lily's Place

Lily's Place provides short-term medical care to infants suffering from prenatal drug exposure and offers non-judgmental support, education and counseling to families, all at a savings to the taxpayers of West Virginia. For more information, visit www.lilysplace.org.

About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia serves approximately 280,000 customers through the company's health care benefits business and also serves tens of thousands of additional members through the Blue Card program. Highmark West Virginia employs approximately 800 people in Parkersburg, Charleston and Wheeling. Highmark West Virginia is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

About West Virginia Family Health (WVFH)

West Virginia Family Health is a Medicaid managed care organization operating in all 55 counties in West Virginia, and delivers high-quality, cost-effective services to eligible managed care Medicaid members. Based in Parkersburg, W.Va., the organization's mission is to provide its members with access to the primary and specialty care they need quickly and professionally in a positive, nurturing setting in their local communities. For more information about WVFH and its services, visit www.wvfh.com.

For more information, contact:
Kristy Cramlet
West Virginia Family Health
304-424-9888
kristy.cramlet@highmarkhealth.org