Evolent Health and Louisville-based not-for-profit Medicaid provider Passport Health Plan have joined forces to create the Medicaid Center of Excellence, which for now will be co-located at Passport’s headquarters in Louisville.

Leaders with both organizations touted the partnership as a potential model for the rest of the United States, reported Caitlin Bowling for a story in Insider Louisville.

“We need a better way to engage (Medicaid) patients and improve outcomes,” said Frank Williams, Evolent’s CEO. “The idea behind launching the Medicaid Center of Excellence is that we can take all that Passport has built and developed, a lot of what Evolent has developed in terms of technology, in terms of know-how, bring those two things together, and create a model that can vastly improve Medicaid care for others across the country.”

The center will provide administrative support for Passport Health users and implement a health performance management platform created by Evolent called Identifi to improve quality of service. Identifi gathers information about Medicaid recipients to target individuals who may be at risk for various health complications or patients who might benefit from health-related programs, such as a diabetes coaching program, Williams said.

“(Identifi) really serves as an air traffic control system and helps to manage the population across a pretty disparate set of providers,” he said. “We don’t have great information flow in health care.”

Through the partnership, Evolent will invest $41.7 million in Louisville and create 647 jobs that pay an average of $38 an hour. Passport Health CEO Mark Carter fully expects the nonprofit to add new jobs as well. Though, he said it is too early to say how many jobs Passport Health may add to its existing 500 positions as a result of the partnership, which took effect Feb. 1 and will last for at least 10 years.

“We anticipate significant growth,” Carter said.

Passport Health will benefit from the arrangement beyond simply improving care for the 280,000 people to whom it administers Medicaid benefits. The not-for-profit now owns nearly 1.1 million in Class A common stock in Evolent, a $15 million value, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.