MetroHealth and Medical Mutual announce partnership to cater to HealthSpan customers

On Monday, Medical Mutual launched a new insurance product in partnership with MetroHealth. The deal will help both organizations cater to former HealthSpan customers.

By Casey Ross, The Plain Dealer | on June 06, 2016 at 11:27 AM, updated June 06, 2016 at 4:02 PM

As HealthSpan winds down its business, MetroHealth and Medical Mutual Insurance of Ohio are picking up the pieces to create a new insurance product they say will cut premium costs by 15 percent.

The product, dubbed CLECare, seeks to achieve those savings by offering employers, and their covered employees, a tailored network of providers to deliver most health care needs.

MetroHealth will provide the bulk of the services — including tests, doctor visits and hospital stays – at its network of hospitals and outpatient centers across Cuyahoga County. Other specialty services, such as complex procedures, behavioral health and hospice care, will be provided by other institutions across the region.

“This rare and intense collaboration improves patients’ access to the best care for their needs while reducing costs,” Dr. Akram Boutros, MetroHealth’s chief executive, said in a press statement announcing the deal on Monday. “The partnership really came together because all of us are committed to improving patient care.”

The partnership is also a way for MetroHealth and Medical Mutual to close ranks around HealthSpan’s customers, who are searching for new options as the HMO prepares to cease operations. However, the CLEcare product is also available to non-HealthSpan members and other Northeast Ohio employers.

After years of poor financial results, HealthSpan announced plans to cease operations earlier this year. The company, which shuttered its physician’s group at the end of March, said it would continue to insure members with employer-sponsored coverage through their renewal date or August 31, whichever comes first. It pledged to insure individual members through the end of the year.

Medical Mutual of Ohio acquired HealthSpan’s insurance business in March, and MetroHealth has hired many of the company’s former doctors in recent months. CLECare is an effort by the two organizations to make those investments pay off, and create a product that could appeal to a broader pool of customers.

In their press release announcing the deal, Medical Mutual and MetroHealth said the new product will make it easier for patients to access affordable care, improve coordination of medical services, and reduce unnecessary treatments.

“We expect significant interest from former HealthSpan insurance purchasers and the growing number of employers and individuals in Cuyahoga County who seek better value for their health care dollars,” said Rick Chiricosta, Medical Mutual’s chief executive.


Categories: Business

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