Carolinas HealthCare System Joins Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Network to Expand Affordable Access to Quality Care for Medicare Recipients

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS) has signed a contract to provide services to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) customers covered by Blue Medicare HMOsm and Blue Medicare PPOsmplans. These offer lower out-of-pocket expenses and more benefits than traditional Medicare, including preventive care and routine vision care. The plans are provided by PARTNERS National Health Plans of North Carolina, a fully owned subsidiary of BCBSNC.
 
The multi-year agreement, effective June 1, 2009, expands access in 12 counties to CHS’s network of more than 1,100 North Carolina-based physicians and 22 North Carolina-based hospitals, as well as providers of home health services, dialysis, skilled nursing care, durable medical equipment and other services.
 
“We're pleased that our Blue Medicare HMO and Blue Medicare PPO customers will have in-network access to the providers within Carolinas HealthCare System," said Milo Brunick, BCBSNC vice president of Network Management. "This agreement further expands our long-standing partnership with CHS."
 
Russell C. Guerin, executive vice president for Business Development and Planning at CHS, said "CHS looks forward to the opportunity to serve an increased number of patients at CHS hospitals, physician practices and outpatient facilities. “Just as their commercial members have experienced,” Guerin said, “I believe all of the eligible participants in these Medicare plans will be pleased with the quality and convenience of services available within the CHS network, and with the caring and compassion of our employees.”
 
North Carolinians who wish to inquire about the availability and benefits of Blue Medicare HMO and Blue Medicare PPO plans can speak to a licensed BCBSNC agent by calling 1-800-665-8037.
 
PARTNERS was North Carolina’s first insurer in the state to offer a Medicare Advantage plan and currently offers Medicare Advantage plans in 51 North Carolina counties to individuals and throughout North Carolina to employer groups.
 
 
About Carolinas HealthCare System:
Carolinas HealthCare System (carolinashealthcare.org), one of the leading healthcare systems in the Carolinas, owns, leases or manages 25 hospitals in North and South Carolina.
 
CHS employs more than 1,100 physicians and operates more than 300 care locations, including rehabilitation hospitals, nursing homes, physician practices, ambulatory surgery centers, home health agencies, radiation therapy centers and physical therapy facilities. Together, these operations comprise more than 5,400 licensed beds and employ more than 40,000 full-time or part-time employees.
 
CHS’s flagship facility is Carolinas Medical Center (carolinasmedicalcenter.org) in Charlotte, an 874-bed hospital which includes a Level I trauma center, a research institute and a large number of specialty treatment units (heart, cancer, organ transplant, behavioral health, etc.). CMC also serves as one of North Carolina’s five Academic Medical Center Teaching Hospitals, providing residency training for over 240 physicians in 15 specialties.
 
CMC is listed as a “Best Hospital” by U.S. News & World Report for urology, and has been designated 11 times as Charlotte’s “Consumer’s Choice Preferred Hospital” by the National Research Corporation. CHS’s community benefit, which includes the value of indigent care, uncompensated medical services, education and research programs, totals more than $600 million annually.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.7 million members, including approximately 900,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 76 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Access BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com.
 
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