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New managed health care company picks downtown Tacoma for headquarters

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on Jan. 7, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
January 7, 2013 2:32 pm

A new managed health care company, Coordinated Care, is putting down roots in downtown’s Tacoma Financial Center high-rise for its headquarters.

The company, a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Centene Corporation, is one of five managed care companies serving the state’s nearly one million Medicaid recipients.

The new company’s headquarters and its 100-plus staff will be located on the third and fourth floor of the Tacoma Financial Center at South 13th Street and Broadway downtown.

Tacoma Financial Center
Tacoma Financial Center

The 17-story, glass and granite-clad building was constructed in 1983 as part of the Cornerstone Development Co.’s Tacoma Center project. The Hotel Murano, the Tacoma Center YMCA and the former Sears department store building directly across Broadway from the Financial Center were all part of that urban revitalization project.

The Financial Center is also the headquarters location for Tacoma’s Franciscan Health System, parent company of a network of hospitals and clinics in the South Sound. Those hospitals include St. Joseph Medical Center, St. Clare in Lakewood, St. Anthony in Gig Harbor, St. Francis in Federal Way and St. Elizabeth in Enumclaw.

Coordinated Care began providing managed care services for Medicaid recipients in July last year. The company’s headquarters staff was temporarily located on other floors at the Financial Center until a lease could be negotiated for permanent quarters on the third and fourth floors and the space could be renovated.

Coordinated Care was one of three managed care coordinators added to the state’s list of approved managers in July.

Last spring, the state asked Medicaid recipients to chose among the five care management companies to handle their health care management. Those who made no choice were assigned a company according to a formula.

Much like a health insurance company, managed care coordinators, sign up a network of preferred health care providers to service its clients.

Coordinated Care has enlisted some 75 hospitals, some 3,000 primary care physicians and some 8,000 specialists and other health care providers to be part of its network.

Coordinated Care plans a grand opening at its headquarters on January 31.

“I am very pleased to welcome Coordinated Care to Tacoma. Their innovative approach and commitment to community support and participation makes them exactly the type of employer we want to attract to our city,” said Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland, said in a statement. “Their decision to choose Tacoma over other cities is a strong indication that Tacoma is not only open for business, but more importantly, a great place to do business.”

“The addition of Coordinated Care greatly complements Tacoma-Pierce County’s status as a major center of operation for leading health care providers,” said Bruce Kendall, President & CEO of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County.

“We are very excited to be based in downtown Tacoma,” said Dr. Jay Fathi, president & CEO of Coordinated Care. “The combination of Tacoma’s skilled workforce, affordability, and its wide range of amenities is a huge plus for our company and our employees.”

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