Press Release

CareSource Partners with Akron Children’s Hospital to Create Coordinated Care Model

August 31st, 2021 | 3 min read

New Partnership Will Improve Health Outcomes for Children Insured by Medicaid in Northeast Ohio

(AKRON, Ohio – August 31, 2021) – CareSource, a nationally-recognized nonprofit health plan, announced today a value-based partnership with Akron Children’s Hospital to improve health and outcomes for thousands of children in Northeast Ohio who rely on Medicaid. The agreement between the health insurer and the hospital system focuses on improving outcomes for children and reducing the overall cost of health care.

“CareSource’s history is built on breaking down the barriers of health care to increase access to seamless high-quality cost-effective care,” said Steve Ringel, CareSource Ohio Market President.  “Our partnership with Akron Children’s Hospital will continue to support our youngest members and their families in northeast Ohio.”

Starting Oct. 1, 2021, Akron Children’s and CareSource will launch a collaboration aimed at improving the health of approximately 100,000 Medicaid-covered children currently enrolled in CareSource who reside in 13 counties in Northeast Ohio.

Akron Children’s will assume accountability for care management for these children under a new company, the Akron Children’s Health Collaborative, a provider-led pediatric Accountable Care Organization (ACO). The Akron Children’s Health Collaborative was created to improve child health through family-centered care coordination, an engaged network of providers and a unified focus on quality, access and health equity.

“CareSource has successfully partnered with other children’s hospitals in Ohio, and Akron Children’s believes this model will be a win-win for our patients and providers of care to children in northeast Ohio as well,” said Grace Wakulchik, president and CEO of Akron Children's Hospital.

“We like the focus on preventive care and ensuring our patients get the right care, when and where they need it. The accountable care model allows our providers to take a more active role in shaping the health care system for their patients. They welcome new opportunities for quality improvement and making data-driven decisions that, ultimately, keep kids healthy and out of the hospital,” Wakulchik added.

Akron Children’s Health Collaborative is committed to partnering with CareSource and the community to ensure the most vulnerable children get the care they need in the right setting and at the most appropriate level. That will include partnerships with Federally Qualified Health Centers, community pediatricians and family medicine providers to better integrate care.

“Working collaboratively with our provider partners enables the strengths of both organizations to be combined and further our shared goal of providing first-class health care to the children in our communities, thus improving not only their health but also the quality of their lives,” said Dale J. Block, M.D., VP, Market Chief Medical Officer for CareSource. 

About Akron Children’s Hospital

Akron Children’s Hospital has been caring for children since 1890, and our pediatric specialties are ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report. With two hospital campuses, regional health centers and more than 50 primary and specialty care locations throughout Ohio, we’re making it easier for today’s busy families to find the high-quality care they need. In 2020, our health care system provided more than 1.1 million patient encounters. We also operate neonatal and pediatric units in the hospitals of our regional health care partners. Every year, our Children’s Home Care Group nurses provide thousands of in-home visits, and our School Health nurses manage clinic visits for students from preschool through high school. With our Quick Care Online virtual visits and Akron Children’s Anywhere app, we’re here for families whenever and wherever they need us. Learn more at

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