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Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 8, 2008

TENNCARE BEGINS PROCESS FOR NEW
MANAGED CARE PLANS IN EAST AND WEST REGIONS

NASHVILLE - TennCare is looking for healthcare plans to provide services for its enrollees in East and West Tennessee. The Bureau today released a request for proposal (RFP) for healthcare plans to offer both medical and behavioral health services to enrollees in these remaining regions of the state. TennCare completed a similar process for Middle Tennessee members in July of 2006.

"The east and west competitive bid process will complete TennCare's return to full financial risk for our MCOs statewide, solidifying our program's operational strength and financial viability," said Darin Gordon, TennCare's director. "We're excited to move the competitive bid process statewide and continue to partner with well-qualified health plans to deliver quality services to our enrollees."

The state is scheduled to announce the bid winners on April 22, 2008. The proposals will become public when the winners are announced. Based on the current RFP schedule, TennCare enrollees can expect service delivery by the selected contractors on November 1, 2008, for those residing in West Tennessee, and January 1, 2009, for those residing in East Tennessee.

"This RFP was designed to help ensure potential bidders are aware of the unique needs of enrollees in the individual regions and the distinct delivery systems of the two regions," said Keith Gaither, Acting Chief of Networks for TennCare. "For example, we've provided region-specific demographic and utilization data, and set new requirements that obligated interested bidders to meet with community providers in each region to gain insight into unique market conditions."

"With continued integration of behavioral and physical health through this process, the state is positioned to offer a statewide healthcare delivery system that meets the needs of the whole person and thus improves each enrollee's overall health status," said Virginia Trotter Betts, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.

The east and west managed care RFP is available online at http://www.tn.gov/tenncare/news-rfp.html under "Released RFPs."

TennCare is Tennessee's managed-care Medicaid program serving approximately 1.2 million low-income children, pregnant women and disabled Tennesseans, with an annual budget of $7 billion. For more information about TennCare, visit www.tn.gov/tenncare.

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