Health plan cutting ties with 4 DelCo hospitals

April 26, 2010 2:04:31 PM PDT
Unless last-minute talks come through, members of Keystone Mercy Health Plan won't be able to use doctors or hospitals in the Crozer-Keystone health system after Friday, April 30.

Keystone Mercy says it will end its relationship with the Crozer health system, saying ir is losing more than a million dollars a month on its current contract.

Keystone Mercy is the area's largest Medicaid managed care plan, with 50,000 members in Delaware County.

The two sides are continuing to talk, in hopes of averting the midnight Friday deadline, but neither side is reporting much progress.

The impasse affects about 26,000 Keystone Mercy members, including nearly 10,000 whose primary care doctor is employed by Crozer-Keystone.

In addition, it affects virtually all ob-gyn services in Delaware County. There are only 3 practices in Delaware County not owned by Crozer-Keystone health system. All are at Riddle Memorial Hospital. A Crozer-Keystone official tells Action News its doctors will continue to see pregnant women in their second and third trimesters.

Keystone Mercy says patients in an active course of treatment, such as chemotherapy, would also be able to continue with Crozer-Keystone Health System.

4 hospitals would be off-limits to Keystone Mercy members for all but emergency care. They are Crozer Chester Medical Center, Delaware County Memorial Hospital, Springfield Hospital, and Taylor Hospital. About 40 specialty care practices would also no longer be part of the Keystone Mercy network.

Keystone Mercy still has contracts with Mercy Fitzgerald and Riddle Hospitals in Delaware County, and Lankenau Hospital, Bryn Mawr Hospital and Mercy Philadelphia Hospital.

Last month, when it first announced plans to end its contract, Keystone Mercy also sent letters to members, informing of the decision. Since then, it has been holding community meetings, and even going door-to-door in Chester to inform members, and help them find new doctors, and make transportation plans.