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Statewide health insurer expands access by partnering with national network

By ThisIsReno

SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE

Saint Mary’s Health Plans (SMHP) announced a new partnership with First Health, which will serve as the statewide health plans’ national PPO network for use outside of Nevada. The network is now being offered to all new group PPO plans and, throughout the next year, SMHP will be available to all insured groups at the time of renewal.

“Being part of a national PPO network strengthens our product offerings and expands health care access to our members,” said Don Kowitz, president and CEO at Saint Mary’s Health Plans. “Our partnership with First Health provides access to high-quality physicians and medical facilities across the country and solidifies Saint Mary’s Health Plans’ commitment to providing our members with exceptional health care benefits, locally and nationally.”

First Health, a wholly owned subsidiary of Coventry Health Care, is a premier national PPO network with access in urban, suburban and rural markets across the country. The network offers member access to an expansive provider list that includes more than 5,000 hospitals, 550,000 physicians and 64,000 ancillary providers. In addition to out-of-state benefits for PPO members, the new partnership offers all HMO, POS and PPO members access to First Health’s emergency travel network.

As a further testament to SMHP’s dedication to provide high-quality, cost-effective health care, a Centers of Excellence program has been implemented to offer a continuum of care for patients with complex health care needs. Through a collaborative approach, the SMHP Medical Management team works with a member’s provider to determine the most effective, safe and affordable options available through a Center of Excellence facility.

A Center of Excellence is a health care facility or provider that meets SMHP’s quality standards, including demonstrated positive patient outcomes, cost-effective health care delivery and compliance with rigorous quality control metrics. To date, participating Centers of Excellence include, Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nev., University of Utah Medical Center, Huntsman Cancer Institute and Intermountain Healthcare – Primary Children’s Medical Center, all located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

For more information about SMHP’s group health plan products please contact your broker or a Saint Mary’s Representative at 1-888-840-9080 or visit www.saintmaryshealthplans.com

About Saint Mary’s Health Plans

Saint Mary’s Health Plans (SMHP) is a recognized health care provider to nearly 44,000 members across Nevada. With an emphasis on quality and affordable care, SMHP offers a variety of products that fit the needs and budget of small to large businesses in Nevada. Through substantial growth, SMHP now consists of HealthFirst, the HMO; Point-of-Service health plans; Saint Mary’s Preferred Health Insurance Company, which provides PPO health plans; CDS Group Health, a third-party administrator; and Preferred Health Care Network (PHCN), a local provider network. Additionally, SMHP’s HealthFirst HMO has been recognized as the first and only health plan in Nevada to earn the prestigious NCQA “Excellent” accreditation for quality. For more information, please visit our website at www.saintmaryshealthplans.com.

About Catholic Healthcare West

Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), headquartered in San Francisco, CA, is a system of 40 hospitals and medical centers in California, Arizona, and Nevada. Founded in 1986, it is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health care systems and the largest private hospital system in California. CHW is committed to delivering compassionate, high-quality, affordable health care services with special attention to the poor and underserved. The CHW network of nearly 10,000 physicians and approximately 54,000 employees provides health care services to more than five million people annually. In 2010, CHW provided more than $1.3 billion in charity care, community benefit, and unreimbursed patient care. For more information, please visit our website at www.chwHEALTH.org.