LINCOLN — Gov. Pete Ricketts announced three Omaha doctors on Monday as the inaugural Nebraska Medicaid Provider Award winners.

They are:

Dr. Henry “Hank” Sakowski, medical director of CHI Partners and a Creighton University School of Medicine faculty member. He was nominated by United HealthCare Community Plan for his work, including efforts to make care more available by increasing the number of CHI practices offering longer hours and by increasing the number of urgent care clinics.

Dr. Sharon Hammer, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She was nominated by WellCare of Nebraska for her work on mental health issues related to pregnancy and reproduction and her role as a provider adviser on prenatal care to WellCare. 

Dr. Rebecca Lancaster, with Methodist Physicians Clinic. She was nominated by Nebraska Total Care for providing high quality care, particularly her interest in concussion management and her involvement with educating the community about concussions.

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State Medicaid officials said the awards program recognizes doctors who exemplify the goals of Heritage Health, Nebraska’s Medicaid managed care system. Those goals include: consistently delivering excellence, participating in efforts to improve care, improving patient health and reducing the per capita cost of health care.

Under the Heritage Health, the state contracts with three private companies to manage and pay for the bulk of Medicaid services. The companies — United HealthCare Community Plan, Nebraska Total Care and WellCare of Nebraska — administer more than $1.2 billion worth of physical health, behavioral health and pharmacy services for almost all Medicaid recipients.

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Three Omaha doctors honored for their work serving Medicaid patients – Omaha World-Herald