Medicare Part "D" Update
Tuesday, May 30th 2006, 9:17 AM CDT
Continuing confusion with Medicare Part D and which Tulsa hospitals accept which plans.
A couple of months ago two of Tulsa's major hospitals announced they would no longer take certain health care plans. Well, some of those decisions have changed.
News on 6 reporter Jennifer Loren helps alleviate the confusion with an update.
St. John Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital were unhappy with some of the new Medicare plans their patients had enrolled with. So, they stopped taking them. But now, they say some things have changed.
It all started with full page ads in the Tulsa World. St. John and St. Francis announced they would no longer accept Humana Gold Choice, Sterling Option One or Secure Horizons Direct. That left their patients with those health plans in a panic.
Sterling participant Phyllis Crims: â€œWith me that means I have to go to somebody and start all over again."
The nationwide deadline to enroll in part D plans was May 15th. So patients had until that day to decide if they wanted to find new insurance or a new hospital and doctors. But somewhere along the way, the hospitals changed their minds on a couple of things.
St. John decided to go ahead and accept Sterling Option One, entering in to a 5 year contract with the company. They do not accept Secure Horizons Direct or Humana Gold Choice.
St. Francis is a different story. They decided to go ahead and continue accepting all three health care plans if and only if a Warren Clinic doctor refers them to the hospital and has approved the use of that health care plan. But that will end on December 31st. They say the end of the year will be the absolute end of their acceptance of those three plans.
Some of these companies are working with the hospitals, trying to come to an agreement. If they do, things will change again.
Just to let you know how confusing this issue is, Jennifer Loren talked to two people at St. John and two people at St. Francis about which plans they do and don't accept. Each time she got a different answer. But the information the News on 6 gave you, came from hospital administrators.