CHPW celebrates 25 years of delivering accessible managed care services that improve the health of communities

Community Health Plan of Washington (CHPW) today celebrates 25 years of connecting Washington’s most vulnerable populations with quality health care. Founded in 1992 by a group of Community Health Centers, CHPW is still the only local, not-for-profit Medicaid and Medicare provider in the state.

“This is Washington’s plan,” said Leanne Berge, CHPW’s chief executive officer. “For 25 years, CHPW has worked in the community to provide quality health care services to the people who need it most. We are proud of our accomplishments, and more determined than ever to provide the best managed care possible for the people of Washington.”

Representatives from community health centers across the state recently joined CHPW board members for an anniversary celebration held at CHPW’s downtown Seattle headquarters. Attendees included CHPW’s first CEO Dennis Braddock, former CHPW CEO Darnell Dent, and other special guests, including Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, and Frank Chopp, Washington State Representative and Speaker of the House.

In a speech, Speaker Chopp spoke passionately about the important role CHPW and community health centers throughout the state played in ensuring all of Washington’s residents have access to affordable health care.

Before CHPW was founded, community health centers across the state saw many of their patients fall through the cracks with poor health care coverage and lack of access to comprehensive services. With a belief that everyone deserves access to health care, regardless of income, and a recognition of the importance of managing the financing for comprehensive care, these health centers joined together to form CHPW, as a health plan for Medicaid members.

When founded, CHPW focused on expanding local access to care and improving quality through direct reinvestment in the community health centers. CHPW has remained committed to these founding principles as the company has grown and expanded over the past 25 years.

In 2009, CHPW established the Mental Health Integration Program (MHIP) program, which resulted in reduced inpatient admissions, lower increases in homelessness, and a hospital savings of $11.2 million in the initial 14 months. In 2013, CHPW helped Washington’s newly-eligible Medicaid recipients obtain comprehensive coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act in 2014. From April 2016 to March 2017, CHPW’s preliminary outcomes for Fully Integrated Managed Care in Southwest Washington saw positive results: for Apple Health Blind Disabled population, where we see the greatest prevalence of behavioral health conditions, the emergency room utilization rate decreased by 14 percent, and the inpatient medical utilization rate dropped by 30 percent.

Now, after 25 years of growth, CHPW provides Apple Health (Medicaid) and Medicare services to approximately 300,000 Washington residents through 20 of its member Community Health Centers operating more than 130 clinics across the state, in addition to affiliated primary care sites. CHPW provides a comprehensive specialty and hospital network for all its members so that all members can receive the services that they need, regardless of financial circumstances. As a not-for-profit organization, CHPW gives 100 percent of available surplus back to the community health centers, helping them provide care to anyone and everyone who walks in the door.

About CHPW

Founded in 1992 by a network of community and migrant health centers in Washington State, Community Health Plan of Washington is a not-for-profit health plan. The mission of CHPW is to deliver accessible managed care services that meet the needs and improve the health of our communities and to make managed care participation beneficial for community-responsive providers.