Scott & White Health Plan Enters Into Agreement With The MED-St Joseph Reacts

The Scott & White Health Plan Monday announced it will contract with College Station Medical Center (the MED) to deliver patient care in the Brazos Valley, effective February 1, 2012. As of that date, services provided to Scott & White Health Plan members at College Station Medical Center will be considered in-network.

The new contract is in response to an announcement by the St. Joseph Regional Health Center that it was terminating its provider agreement with the Scott & White Health Plan. St. Joseph indicated in its notice that the termination was triggered by the start of construction on the new Scott & White Hospital in College Station.

“We are committed to providing our patients with local access to local care through local providers, and our ability to fulfill that commitment requires dependable partners who can support us in delivering a full continuum of care,” said Allan Einboden, CEO, Scott & White Health Plan.

Scott & White has a strong history of working with local physicians and hospitals in the community to provide high quality, compassionate, individualized care.

“The Scott & White Clinic has a 25-year history in College Station,” said William Rayburn, MD, chief medical officer for Scott & White - College Station “It is our privilege to provide health care to our patients, neighbors and friends throughout the Brazos Valley and we look forward to continuing to provide this care alongside College Station Medical Center.”

“College Station Medical Center is pleased to announce this multi-year agreement with Scott & White Health Plan,” said Tom Jackson, CEO of the MED. “Both organizations are committed to putting the best interests of our community first and we welcome the opportunity to work with our new neighbor in the College Station Medical Corridor.”

“Our arrangement with the MED is another example of Scott & White’s deepening commitment to the Brazos Valley,” added Jason Jennings, CEO of Scott & White - College Station.

A special phone line is available for Scott & White Health Plan members who have questions about their insurance coverage at the MED, or who may otherwise require assistance in scheduling appointments and gaining access to services. The phone number is 979-691-3ASK (3275).

But Monday afternoon St Joseph released the following Statement in Reply to Scott & White Health Plan Contract with The Med:

Bryan, TX (January 23, 2011) – Although St. Joseph has not been notified by Scott & White Health Plan of any changes to our hospital contract, news reports indicate the Health Plan has entered into an agreement with College Station Medical Center. According to a release, the agreement would make College Station Medical Center an in-network provider for patients with Scott & White insurance.

Based on the limited information available, this contract appears to be a breach of the exclusive hospital contract currently in place between Scott & White Health Plan and the St. Joseph Health System. Because St. Joseph was not informed of SWHP’s intent to breach the contract before the media announcement, St. Joseph has contacted a representative of the Health Plan for additional information.

The exclusive contract between St. Joseph and SWHP will expire April 30, 2012. In November, St. Joseph informed Health Plan executives that St. Joseph would honor the contract through April 30, 2012, to avoid inconvenience to local patients and physicians.

As it always has, St. Joseph is honored to care for patients who are covered under SWHP. Additionally, we continue to care for patients who see Scott & White physicians, but are covered by other insurance. Scott and White’s College Station Clinic physicians are members of St. Joseph’s medical staff and continue to admit patients at St. Joseph Regional, expecting excellent care. We continue to deliver award-winning care to patients as we have for 75 years, and encourage patients who prefer to use St. Joseph for reasons of quality or convenience to discuss that with their physician and express their preference.

We regret that SWHP’s actions today leave patients, physicians, and St. Joseph with uncertainty over where Scott & White Health Plan patients are to be cared for in the coming months. St. Joseph continues to have an agreement to be the exclusive provider of hospital services for the Scott & White Health Plan until April 30, 2012, and will honor that commitment.

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