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Desert Oasis Healthcare Featured in USA Today

Friday, September 18, 2009 General News J E 4
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PALM SPRINGS, Calif., Aug. 6 Desert Oasis Healthcare, an IPA and Medical Group affiliated with Heritage Provider Networks, is highlighted in a USA Today story discussing the country's most dominant concern: healthcare reform. In a story titled, "Seniors defend Medicare Plan Obama calls 'wasteful'," Desert Oasis is described as using "case managers who check on patients to coordinate care and reduce hospital readmissions."

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090806/LA58319)

Dr. Marc Hoffing, medical director at Desert Oasis Healthcare accompanied Maurice Engleman, age 82 and Patricia Long, age 70, along with LaDonna Headley, Director of Case Management at Desert Oasis, to meet with numerous members of Congress, letting them know they fiercely want to protect their current level of healthcare coverage provided by Desert Oasis Healthcare. To reinforce their concerns, the group brought along boxes containing over 10,000 signed petitions from seniors in the Coachella Valley urging Congress to keep Medicare Advantage.

Desert Oasis implements Medicare Advantage that is far more economical and satisfactory for patients then the rest of the nation. "We serve 22,000 seniors and it is critically important we protect them and the quality, affordable care we provide for them through Medicare Advantage," said Dr. Hoffing. "There are no frills here and we wanted members of Congress to know we can do it better, smarter and more cost-effective, therefore preventing high rates of hospital readmissions."

Desert Oasis offers lower out-of-pocket costs for seniors, ensures more seniors have access to affordable, coordinated, preventative care. It provides a much broader range of services vital to an aging population. Desert Oasis has made substantial investments in electronic medical records and other health technology innovations - further ensuring accuracy and cost savings to the taxpayer. "HPN represents a successful working model of managed, coordinated, patient-centered health care that is consistent with the philosophy of the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic in terms of more efficient, cost-effective care that we have duplicated in California and New York (Healthcare Partners), and can be replicated in the rest of the country," said CEO Dr. Richard Merkin. "I congratulate Desert Oasis Healthcare and the group who went to Washington, DC to let our lawmakers know we collected the data with over 10,000 signed petitions from seniors making their wishes clear."

The seniors and Dr. Hoffing met with Senator Boxer, Senator Spector, Congresswoman Bono-Mack, Congressman Stupak and also with the senior staff members of Senator Feinstein, Congressmen Schiff, Drier and Waxman. Their message was clear: Desert Oasis Healthcare has a large senior membership who depend on this important coverage to aid in their healthcare needs. The legislators were receptive and eager to learn more about the success of the Desert Oasis Healthcare model, assigning task force members to follow up on specific details. Senator Boxer told the group she was eager to know more about Desert Oasis and its patient centered, cost effective care; Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack congratulating the group on collecting the signatures and bringing them to Capitol Hill.

"I can't say enough," said Engleman, who went to Capitol Hill to plead his case. "I owe my life to the care I received with Desert Oasis. I would be dead if I had Blue Cross now." Engleman particularly noted the meeting with Senator Boxer, saying she was, "Sincere and concerned about our desire to protect Medicare Advantage and also with Senator Spector, not only for his stature in Congress, but he, like me, is a cancer survivor." Engleman said the experience of meeting with members of Congress was one of the highlights of his life.

Cancer survivor Patricia Long agrees. The valley senior lost 70 percent of her liver to cancer, and depends on Medicare Advantage for her care. "I owe my life to Desert Oasis," she said, telling members of Congress of her long struggle with cancer, including numerous surgeries. "I keep on fighting and they have always encouraged me not to give up," noting numerous house calls made by doctors and health care case management specialists from Desert Oasis.

About Heritage Provider Network

Heritage Provider Network, Inc. (HPN) represents the cutting edge of integrated, managed health care systems offering the future of medicine and health care in the United States. HPN develops programs and services that are responsive to the healthcare needs of today's patient. HPN designs its networks to offer patients a comprehensive range of medical care in convenient locations. It organizes and manages medical groups and independent practice associations, which it integrates with hospitals and ancillary care providers to form integrated health care systems. HPN consists of medical groups and IPAs with 21 satellite medical facilities in California and Healthcare Partners, an IPA, in New York. HPN is comprised of 3,500 primary care physicians, 13,000 specialists and 36 hospitals. HPN is dedicated to quality, affordable health care putting patients' wellness first. www.heritageprovidernetwork.com

About Desert Oasis

Desert Oasis Healthcare's services include access to 6 Immediate and Urgent Care Centers - Bermuda Dunes, Indio, Palm Desert (2), Palm Springs and Yucca Valley, plus offering Living & Aging Well Programs committed to educating individuals on how to apply the principles of preventative health care in their daily lives, resulting in improved health. For more information on Desert Oasis visit www.mydohc.com

SOURCE Heritage Provider Network; Desert Oasis Healthcare
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