Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Prudential Loosens Ties with Group Physicians Might Ally with Baptist/St. Vincents

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Prudential Loosens Ties with Group Physicians Might Ally with Baptist/St. Vincents

Article excerpt

Prudential HealthCare executives are launching an effort to

increase dramatically the number of physicians, hospitals and

pharmacies that their members can use.

But here in Jacksonville, news of the health maintenance

organization's expansion carries some irony.

For as Prudential aggressively attempts to pull new doctors

into its network, it is loosening ties to a 43-physician group

that for, most of the decade, has served as the cornerstone of

its health plan here.

And the result may be to strengthen Baptist/St. Vincent's

Health System's competitive position in Jacksonville's market.

Jacksonville Health Care Group, which sees 70,000 patients a

year, expects to work out a final deal with Baptist/St.

Vincent's within the next 45 days, said Earl Mally, the

physician group's business manager.

Those doctors could still see patients under the Prudential

health plan.

Meanwhile, Prudential continues to reengineer its health plan,

possibly to spruce up the HMO for sale.

The expansion announced by company executives on Thursday

appears to be aimed at further transforming the HMO from a

closed model in which patients can see just a few physicians to

a health plan with a broad panel of doctors.

"Once upon a time, operating an HMO was a niche strategy," said

Andrew Crooks, who oversees Prudential's plans in Orlando and

Jacksonville. "You didn't have to appeal to everybody for broad

choice and access. But now it has become the primary benefit

plan for employers. People want to see their doctor."

In the last six months, Prudential has added 150 physicians to

their network in Jacksonville and Orlando, he said.

The HMO has also expanded the pharmacies customers can use,

signing up such retailers as Albertson's, Eckerd, Kmart, Publix,

Walgreen's, Wal-Mart and Winn Dixie, Crooks said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.