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Heritage Provider Network and CEO Dr. Richard Merkin Featured on Fox News

MARINA DEL REY, Calif., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Heritage Provider Network and CEO Dr. Richard Merkin were featured in a Fox National News segment discussing their successful HMO model of managed, coordinated, patient centric, cost effective healthcare that seniors are happy with and works.

Fox News correspondent Anita Vogel and her camera crew went to Palm Springs, California to interview seniors enrolled in Desert Oasis Healthcare (an HMO medical group in the Heritage Provider Network) to learn more about their trip to Washington, DC in late July meeting with members of the Senate and House, relating their stories of fighting cancer and now fighting to protect the healthcare plan that kept them alive. They also took with them petitions signed by over 10,000 seniors enrolled with Desert Oasis solidifying and urging Congress to keep the current plan intact.

Maurice Engleman is 82 years old and told Vogel how he beat a diagnosis of tongue cancer last year. "I owe my life to the robust, assertive care I received from Desert Oasis and I wanted members of Congress to know firsthand about the success of this important healthcare model. I would be dead without it and dead if I had my old Blue Cross Plan."

Patricia Long agrees. At 70, she has fought cancer for the last 13 years, her latest bout losing over 70% of her liver, "I keep on fighting because my Intense Case Managers have encouraged me not to give up. I have doctors making house calls ensuring I get healthy, keeping me out of the hospital and emergency rooms. By staying healthy, I am saving money I can use in other areas of my life." Both Engleman and Long are enrolled in Medicare Advantage that offers coordinated care that targets keeping patients healthy, with high level, quality, cost effective healthcare.

"Our medical groups and IPAs include 25 facilities in California (including Desert Oasis) and one based New York, Healthcare Partners IPA, represent a successful, working model of accountable, coordinated, managed care that has and can be duplicated all over the country," said Dr. Richard Merkin, CEO of Heritage Provider Network. "HPN works because we have mastered keeping quality healthcare up and costs down. Clearly, I applaud our seniors taking their fight directly to Members of Congress with signed petitions from over 10,000 seniors letting Washington know they have a stake in the healthcare debate. I'm very proud of our track record, as we at HPN have made the critical health care difference in the country."

Engleman and Long believe their meetings on Capitol Hill exemplify democracy in action and find the general tone of the current town hall meetings full of inaccuracies and misleading information. "It is appalling," says Engleman. "I am all for citizens expressing their opinion, however, in a factual, respectful manner. We took action in a way no one else has, directly to the source, delivering our petitions and letting members of Congress know we like what we have and why, in a rational, intelligent way backed up with facts."

Dr. Marc Hoffing, Medical Director of Desert Oasis, accompanied the seniors on their trip to Capitol Hill. "We got a 50% response when we sent out our Medicare Advantage petitions, we felt so strongly, we were compelled to take them to Washington DC and hand deliver them to our legislators with our message of how important Medicare Advantage is to these seniors. Desert Oasis has perfected accountable, coordinated, patient centric care. We keep our seniors happy, healthy and out of the hospital. This leads to a tremendous savings for the taxpayer. In fact, the 30 day hospital readmission rate for our Medicare Advantage patients is only 11%-12% as opposed to traditional Medicare coverage where hospital readmission rates soar at about 20%, clearly Medicare Advantage saving a great deal of high level costs."

Hoffing, Engleman, Long and La Donna Headley, RN Director of Case Management at Desert Oasis, met with Senator Boxer, Senator Spector, Congressman Bart Stupak and Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack and key high level staff (including Chief of Staff) with Senator Feinstein, Congressman Waxman, Congressman Schiff and Congressman Dreier, delivering signed petitions to each. In the two-minute feature story on Fox News, segments of the DC visit were featured along with interviews with the group. Both Engleman and Long agreed, " Our meetings with Members of Congress was one of the highlights of our lives."

About Heritage Provider Network

Heritage Provider Network, Inc. (HPN) represents the cutting edge of accountable, coordinated, managed, patient-doctor centric, cost effective 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 health care 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 that represents a working, successful business model mastering keeping the quality of health care up and the costs down, and has been duplicated with medical groups and IPAs with 25 medical facilities in California and one based in New York, Healthcare Partners IPA. HPN is comprised of 3,500 primary care physicians, 13,000 specialists and 36 hospitals. HPN is dedicated to quality, affordable health care and putting patients' wellness first.

SOURCE Heritage Provider Network, Inc.
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