Empire BlueCross BlueShield, Stellaris Health Network Agree to New Three-Year Contract

Thursday, August 5, 2010 Corporate News
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NEW YORK, Aug. 4 Stellaris Health Network and Empire BlueCross BlueShield have agreed to a new three-year contract, effective August 1, 2010. The contract restores in-network access to Stellaris facilities and providers for Empire policyholders and employer groups. No action is required by Empire members to continue services at any Stellaris Health Network facility

The previous contract expired April 1, 2010. The new agreement covers Stellaris Health Network hospitals, including: White Plains Hospital, Northern Westchester Hospital, Phelps Memorial Hospital and Lawrence Hospital Center.

Empire members enrolled in commercial HMO, EPO, POS, PPO or indemnity products or Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO products may again receive covered services at Stellaris facilities and from physicians who are contracted with Stellaris with the highest level of benefits and lowest out-of-pocket cost.

In a joint statement, Arthur A. Nizza, President and CEO of Stellaris Health Network and Mark Wagar, President and CEO, Empire BlueCross BlueShield said: "We recognize how difficult the out-of-network situation has been for our patients and members. We are pleased that we now have a new agreement on a three-year contract that allows Empire and Stellaris to partner in a way that recognizes our joint responsibilities in helping to improve the quality and affordability of healthcare."

About Empire BlueCross BlueShield

Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc., independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State. Additional information about Empire is available at www.empireblue.com.

About Stellaris Health Network

Based in Armonk, NY and founded in 1996, HealthStar Network, Inc. (dba Stellaris Health Network) is the corporate parent of Lawrence Hospital Center (Bronxville, NY), Northern Westchester Hospital (Mount Kisco, NY) Phelps Memorial Hospital Center (Sleepy Hollow, NY), and White Plains Hospital Center (White Plains, NY). In addition to the network of hospitals, Stellaris provides ambulance and municipal paramedic services to Westchester County, New York through Westchester Emergency Medical Services. With nearly $795 million dollars in combined revenue and 1,100 in-patient beds, Stellaris Hospitals account for over a third of the acute care bed capacity in Westchester County. It is one of the largest area employers, with over 5,000 employees and approximately 1,000 voluntary physicians on staff. The Stellaris Hospitals provide multidisciplinary acute care services as well as a range of community based services such as hospice, home health, behavioral health and physical rehabilitation. As Stellaris pursues new programs and joint ventures, it will continue to evolve as the regions' leading healthcare system, dedicated to preserving high quality, community-based care for residents of Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Dutchess, Northern Bronx, and Fairfield Counties. For more information about Stellaris Health Network visit www.stellarishealth.org.

SOURCE Stellaris Health Network

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