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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Esmeralda Swartz, Hovhannes Avoyan, Elizabeth White, Adrian Bridgwater

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Karen J. Nichols, Expert on Senior Health, Joins AmeriHealth Caritas VIP Plans as Chief Medical Officer

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - January 28, 2014) - AmeriHealth Caritas VIP Plans, a national Medicare Advantage managed care organization and part of the AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies, announced it has hired Karen J. Nichols, M.D., as its chief medical officer. The newest member of the organization's executive team, Nichols will be responsible for the oversight of all AmeriHealth Caritas VIP Plans' clinical functions, including utilization management, medical management and clinical quality. She reports to John Baackes, president of AmeriHealth Caritas VIP Plans.

Nichols has more than 20 years of experience as a health care executive and practice in adult, geriatric and long-term care medicine. She came to AmeriHealth Caritas VIP Plans from the Living Independently for Elders program at the University of Pennsylvania, where she served as the chief medical officer. The organization develops all-inclusive care to help frail elderly residents of West Philadelphia who participate in the program live more independently. She previously served as a staff physician at The Watermark at Logan Square and as a staff physician at Germantown Nursing Home.

Nichols is a graduate of Temple University School of Medicine and completed a residency in internal medicine at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. She also held dual faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania in its School of Medicine and School of Nursing.

AmeriHealth Caritas VIP Plans offers Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage in the District of Columbia and parts of Louisiana. It also offers Medicare Advantage special needs plans for dual-eligibles in the District of Columbia and select counties/parishes in Louisiana, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. Dual-eligibles are people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

"Senior citizens, and particularly those who are dual-eligibles, have special health care needs. And few physician executives can match Nichols' expertise in these needs and how to address them," said Baackes. "Having someone on our leadership team who understands these challenges and the solutions to those challenges will help position AmeriHealth Caritas VIP Plans as a leader in managing the care of America's elderly."

"During my 20-plus years working in health care in the Philadelphia area, I have been impressed with the work AmeriHealth Caritas does every day to help vulnerable Americans access quality health care," said Nichols. "I am excited to now be part of this company to help it expand this mission."

About AmeriHealth Caritas
AmeriHealth Caritas is one of the nation's leaders in health care solutions for those most in need. AmeriHealth Caritas operates in 15 states and the District of Columbia, and serves more than 4.8 million Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP members through its integrated managed care products, pharmaceutical benefit management services, behavioral health services and other administrative services. Headquartered in Philadelphia, AmeriHealth Caritas is a mission-driven company with 30 years of experience serving low-income and chronically ill populations. For more information, visit www.amerihealthcaritas.com.

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