St. Joseph Announces Contract Changes with Scott & White Health Plan
Bryan, TX (November 8, 2011) – Yesterday, St. Joseph notified Scott and White Health Plan of its intent not to renew a hospital services contract that expires April 30, 2012. This decision comes after much discussion among physicians and St. Joseph board members, as well as analysis completed following Scott & White’s announcement to build a local hospital.
On August 31, Scott & White Health Plan leaders allowed their innetwork provider contract with St. Joseph’s physician medical group, St. Joseph Physician Associates (SJPA), to expire. This means more than 50 St. Joseph physicians and specialists are now out-of-network for people with Scott & White insurance.
“Although we appreciate the opportunity to provide care for patients with Scott & White insurance, after lengthy internal discussions and consideration, we have decided not to renew our hospital services contract with the health plan,” said Tony Pfitzer, President and CEO of St. Joseph. “A local Scott & White hospital will compete with St. Joseph for patients and St. Joseph cannot be both a partner and a competitor.”
It’s important for residents to know St. Joseph will not be negotiating a new hospital or physician contract with Scott & White Health Plan. “Instead, we will focus our efforts on making sure patients with Scott & White insurance have as much notice as possible so they can make appropriate plans for their healthcare,” said Tim Ottinger, St. Joseph Vice President of Community Relations. “St. Joseph is happy to continue seeing patients with Scott & White insurance but we want people to know the Scott & White Health plan may not support them seeing a non-network provider.”
This announcement does not affect any of the other commercial insurances St. Joseph contracts with, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna, United Healthcare, FirstCare and more than a dozen others. It does not affect anyone covered by Medicare or Medicaid, but could affect those with Scott & White Medicare supplemental health insurance coverage.