Springfield, MO, January 18, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- Group Benefit Services (GBS) today announced that it has confirmed that Cox has contracted to participate in the PHCS MultiPlan (PHCS) PPO network. Cox contracting with PHCS was a direct result of Coventry Health Care, Inc. (Coventry) terminating their existing contract with Cox when Coventry recently acquired Mercy Health Plans.
As a result of this contracting activity both St. John's and Cox Health Systems participate in the PHCS PPO network. It is unclear what the long-term impact of this agreement could be.
There may be certain restrictions on how employers can design, access, and offer both providers in the same plan(s). It may be possible that employers offer 2 similar plans; one plan that has Cox as the primary healthcare provider, and another plan that has St. Johns as the primary healthcare provider.
When asked about what this means to the Springfield market area, James Deren, President of GBS said: "I have long thought that picking a primary provider and healthcare facility should be an insured’s decision and not an employer’s choice."
According to James Deren, "Historically, employers have been placed in a difficult position by being forced to pick a network around one or the other provider in the Springfield area either based upon the prevailing prices offered by insurance carriers for fully insured health plans and/or the discounts offered by a PPO network for self insured plans."
James Deren said further; "We are blessed to have access to quality healthcare providers in our area. Let the healthcare facilities market directly to the employees for the best clinical outcomes at the best price, and as long as each employee can choose which facility is primary by virtue of choices allowed through the employer health plan, the employees in the Springfield area have just been empowered and have now been provided with a choice of where they can secure their healthcare services."
Based upon the history in the Springfield market area this appears to be a huge step forward in the Springfield healthcare marketplace and that this healthy competition could continue to drive up the quality of clinical outcomes and begin to drive down the price of healthcare services rendered in this area.
James Deren indicates that Group Benefit Services, Inc. (GBS) is in a unique position to offer access to the PHCS PPO network to its clients.
Group Benefit Services (GBS) is a licensed Third Party Administrator and Employee Benefits Technology corporation located in Springfield, MO. GBS provides Employer Based Services which includes employee benefit consulting and claims administration, Project Based Services that include inception and management of Association Group Health Plans, Trust programs, and Outsourcing Services for the insurance industry. Web Addresses: www.gbs-tpa.com