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HFS approves NextLevel Health’s plan to provide community-based care coordination

Medicaid Health Plan’s care coordination model aims to improve Black and Latino Health in Cook County.

Chicago, Illinois (PRWEB) September 25, 2014

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has approved NextLevel Health’s plan to provide care coordination to seniors, persons with disabilities and newly insured Black and Latino men who now have Medicaid in Cook County. NextLevel has been designated a care coordination entity (CCE) as part of the department’s Illinois Medicaid redesign, which is expected to achieve the triple aim of improving client care, improving client health and reducing the growth of healthcare costs.

“This redesign will help our clients improve their access to quality, holistic health care while lowering the state’s costs,” said HFS Director Julie Hamos. “As a CCE, NextLevel’s approach to care coordination will help achieve the goals of healthier clients and a healthier Illinois.”

NextLevel Health Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Cheryl Whitaker, M.D. said the company itself was designed to support and the improve community members’ health. “As a primary care doctor and longtime resident of the south side, I knew there was room for a different approach to health care,” Whitaker said. “NextLevel’s community-up approach addresses not only the physical and mental health needs of our members, but also social determinants that heavily influence a person’s overall health. Our goal is to bring the ‘medical home’ to our member’s home, in the communities where they live.”

Whitaker said her history of supporting her community and seeking innovations in health care to improve outcomes was integral to building a Health Plan that focuses on community members’ specific health needs, including diabetes, hypertension and mental health. In addition, she said, NextLevel employees’ experience with Medicaid clients’ cultural and social needs will provide vital insight for care coordination efforts.    

NextLevel’s care teams will come from the communities served to encourage a strong partnership between member/family, Primary Care Provider (PCP) and care team. The plan will use cloud-based health information technology system Virtual Health® to allow for real-time updates from the field, including care teams, doctors’ offices, social service agencies and hospitals. This will allow the deployment of quick and efficient interventions.

“NextLevel strives to not only address the needs of our members, but the communities we serve as a whole,” Whitaker said. “It’s about creating a strong safety net, and building a support system for our communities.”

NextLevel Health is one of the Medicaid Health Plan choices for Cook County residents. Medicaid clients will receive notification in the mail requiring them to choose a Health Plan within 60 days. If clients do not select a health plan within the 60-day time period, they will be automatically enrolled to a health plan based on their Primary Care Provider. Once enrolled, clients have 90 days to switch to a different Health Plan. To learn more about their Health Plan choices, Medicaid clients should contact Illinois Client Enrollment Services at 1-877-912-8880, TTY at 1-866-565-8576, or visit

About NextLevel Health

NextLevel Health is a Health Plan approved as Care Coordination Entity (CCE) by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS). The minority-owned and female-led NextLevel serves seniors, persons with disabilities and childless adults on Medicaid who reside in Cook County. For more information on NextLevel, please visit our website at


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