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AmeriHealth Caritas plans 300-job Jacksonville operations center

by Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

AmeriHealth Caritas, a national company with headquarters in Philadelphia that serves 4.8 million Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP members, intends to open a 300-400 job operations center early next year in Jacksonville.

Spokeswoman Michelle Davidson said Friday the goal is for the center to be fully operational in the spring.

Davidson said it will be the company’s second national companywide center. The first is in Philadelphia.

Davidson said the company was close to signing a lease. The location is the Cambridge West building at 8171 Baymeadows Way W. in Deerwood Center.

“We are definitely a growing company,” Davidson said.

She said the company serves people who qualify for Medicaid and Medicare or both.

Davidson said the company considered several areas and chose Jacksonville because of its availability of employees skilled at back-office functions and claims processing.

Davidson said hiring starts this month and training will begin in January. The jobs have been posted at amerihealthcaritas.com/jaxjobs.

A call center open house for applicants is scheduled 3-8 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Embassy Suites Jacksonville Baymeadows at 9300 Baymeadows Road.

The opportunities include claims examiners, customer service representatives, provider claims service representatives, research analysts and claims supervisors. Davidson declined to provide a pay range.

“Jacksonville is a prominent location for a service center. It has an excellent employee pool for the skill set we need,” Davidson said.

She declined to comment about the investment the company will make in Jacksonville. The city issued a permit for a $650,000 tenant build-out for 66,202 square feet of space among all four floors at the Deerwood building.

The building is owned by G.F. Florida Operating Alpha Inc. of Jacksonville.

Davidson said AmeriHealth Caritas has a presence in 15 states with its different lines of business.

She said some of other lines of business have smaller operations centers, but the Jacksonville center is the second companywide location.

“Our mission is to help people get care, stay well and build healthy communities. Our goal is to provide responsible managed care solutions, including Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP-plus pharmacy benefit management, behavioral health and administrative services for populations in need across the country,” she said.

Davidson said AmeriHealth is owned by Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. It has 3,500 employees.

AmeriHealth Caritas serves members through its integrated managed care products, pharmaceutical benefit management services, behavioral health services and other administrative services.

It says it has 30 years of experience serving low-income and chronically ill populations. Its website is amerihealthcaritas.com.

Medicare is the federal health care insurance program for people who are 65 years old and older and for the disabled. Medicaid is a federal-state program that helps pay for health care for the needy, aged, blind and disabled, and for low-income families with children.

Davidson said the company is ready to work with states who are responding to the new Affordable Care Act.

“We believe that all Americans should have access to affordable, quality health care, and we understand the critical task states face in ensuring access to care for those most in need while balancing state budgets. We take it upon ourselves to come to states with solutions that enable them to provide access to care to those most in need,” she said.

AmeriHealth might sound familiar in Jacksonville because a sister company, AmeriHealth Administrators, closed its Jacksonville office in 2009, laying off 111 employees, after operating for 11 years. The office was in Deerwood Park.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

(904) 356-2466

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