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Exempla Expands Patient Access Through Anthem Partnership

July 22, 2008
Extended Coverage Exempla expands patient access through Anthem partnership By Chalan Harper Colorado Hometown Newspapers In the past, many patients living near Lafayette’s Exempla Good Samaritan hospital have been forced to get their medical care elsewhere due to insurance coverage conflicts. But, effective July 1, any patient under the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield wings will be welcomed with open arms at the Lafayette medical center, as well as other Exempla hospitals. The hospital announced the partnership contract with Anthem this week, and the Good Samaritan spokesperson, Sharon Burnette, said the news was exciting because the hospital now carries all major insurance providers. “We couldn’t say that up until now,” Burnette said. “This is very new and very exciting for us.” What this means for the hospital, Burnette said, is the ability to serve more patients, as well as attract more physicians. “(It means) greater access for patients,” Burnette said. “Up until this point, we were missing a part of the population we thought was, obviously, one we would want to include.” When the hospital first opened, Anthem held an exclusive contract with another hospital. Recently, that agreement changed and Anthem came on board with the Exempla hospitals, which includes the Lutheran Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital, in addition to Good Samaritan. Before the agreement was inked, Anthem patients could take advantage of Good Samaritan’s emergency services — as the E.R. accepts all insurance forms — but would have to be moved to another hospital if doctors decided the patient needed to stay past emergency treatments. “It becomes problematic,” Burnette said. “Now, we won’t have that issue anymore.” The agreement should also enable more physicians, working under the Anthem wing, the ability to work for the Lafayette medical center. “It gives us the opportunity, essentially, in having new physicians and to have them send more of their patients to us,” Burnette said. Burnette said officials are not sure if the partnership will net the hospital more revenue, but they are hopeful. Currently, the hospital is also adding about 30 more patient rooms to the facility. Burnette said the expansion is still right on time, and the new rooms should become available at the beginning of December.