LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  A fast-growing healthcare consulting company called Evolent Health will open a Louisville office and create more than 600 high-paying professional jobs, Mayor Greg Fischer is expected to announce on Tuesday.

The Arlington, Va.-based company plans to put 200 employees in Louisville initially and to grow the regional office to 647 employees by the fourth year, according to information from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, which approved the company for $10 million in taxpayer-funded incentives on Thursday.

Evolent declined to comment on Monday.

Evolent contracts with healthcare providers like hospital companies and physician systems to help them implement “value-based” payment models -- as opposed to traditional healthcare, in which doctors and hospitals are compensated based on the amount of services they perform, called “fee for service.”

Several major healthcare players, include Louisville-based Humana Inc., see value-based payment models as the wave of the future.

Evolent plans to make Louisville the “regional headquarters” of its Medicaid business, according to information provided to the state for tax incentive purposes.

Evolent’s “Medicaid Center of Excellence” in Louisville will provide “expertise, operational support and innovative patient-centered care solutions” to help provider-sponsored health plans across the U.S. better deliver Medicaid services, according to the state economic development authority.

The 647 jobs the company plans to create in Louisville will pay $32 an hour on average -- $66,560 a year, according to the state. With the value of employee benefits, the average wage rises to $38 an hour.

Tuesday’s announcement at the Muhammad Ali Center involves Passport Health Plan, the managed care organization that provides Medicaid services in the Louisville region. Passport said in a news advisory that it will make “an important announcement regarding the company’s future and the delivery of Medicaid managed care services.” A Passport spokesman did not immediately return a call for comment.

UPDATE, 6:30 pm: Late Monday, Evolent filed a notice with the SEC saying it's formed a "strategic alliance" with Passport, which has acquired Evolent stock valued at $15 million. Evolent said it "acquired certain assets and capabilities from Passport which, combined with (Evolent's) existing capabilities and technology platform, will be used to develop a Medicaid Center of Excellence to serve provider led Medicaid plans nationwide. The Company also entered into a 10-year services agreement with Passport to provide certain managed care services to Passport’s existing patient population in Kentucky."

Evolent has other ties to the area. As of Sept. 30, two of its six largest clients were the Indiana University Health system and Louisville-based Baptist Healthcare System, according to a regulatory filing.

Evolent, founded in 2011, raised $209 million in a public stock offering in June 2015, according to the company’s regulatory filings.

The company has not yet turned a profit. It was expected to bring in $160 million in revenue in 2015 while losing about $35 million on operations. The company’s stock is down about 48 percent since its initial public offering last summer, according to Google Finance.

Evolent said in a regulatory filing in November that it will continue “to incur operating losses for the foreseeable future” as its business grows.

“We intend to continue to invest aggressively in the success of our partners, expand our geographic footprint and further develop our capabilities,” the company said.

Evolent’s founding investors were the Advisory Board Co., a consulting company, and the UPMC Health Plan, a large health insurer in western Pennsylvania owned by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

If it follows through with its plans for Louisville, Evolent would be eligible to collect up to $1 million a year for 10 years from Louisville Metro government and the state of Kentucky – about $15,000 per job. 

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