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Physicians Health Choice Receives Senior Choice Gold Award for 2010 Medicare Plan Benefits

Awards based on out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries based on health status categories and corresponding plan benefits.

San Antonio, TX (Vocus) Dec. 14, 2009 -- Physicians Health Choice is one of only 35 Medicare plans nationally to be recognized for cost-sharing effectiveness and value in the design of their 2010 medical and Part D prescription drug benefits for Medicare beneficiaries. The Medicare Advantage company won for its Standard plans in Austin, Corpus Christi, and Rio Grande Valley, Texas; Las Cruces, NM; and Little Rock, Ark.

The Physicians Health Choice plans are the only Medicare Advantage plans in those markets to win the 2010 Senior Choice Gold Award.

Physicians Health Choice is a physician-owned Medicare Advantage plan that provides health care benefits in several areas across the southern United States.

The award recipients were selected from over 200 Medicare managed care plans based on cost-sharing comparisons conducted by HealthMetrix Research Inc., a national independent managed care research firm. In announcing the 2010 Senior Choice Gold Award recipients, HealthMetrix Research and president Alan Mittermaier pointed out the importance of the award for Medicare beneficiaries: "This award responds to the concerns and uncertainties that beneficiaries have with the out-of-pocket costs incurred when they enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. Physicians Health Choice has demonstrated a commitment to delivering maximum value in the design of their plan benefits, copayments, deductibles, and premiums. We believe that informed beneficiaries can rely on this award as an indication of excellence just as they rely on other awards and consumer ratings that recognize excellence in quality of care, health outcomes and member satisfaction."            

The award selections were based on the 2010 estimated cost-sharing comparisons conducted in over 120 cities during October 2009 by HealthMetrix Research Inc. The annual comparisons estimate the out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries based on health status categories (healthy/episodic/chronic) and corresponding utilization of the most common plan benefits (physician office visits, emergency or urgent care, hospital care, prevention care, prescriptions). The comparisons identify the Medicare plans with the lowest and highest estimated annual out-of-pocket costs based on the approved 2010 member co-payments, deductibles and premiums that appear in the Medicare Options Compare database (        

“We are proud to have been selected for this recognition yet again. This award is important because it can help Medicare beneficaries navigate through what is often a very difficult selection process. With so many choices out there, it is nice to know that an independent company such as HealthMetrix has done a lot of the work for them,” states Jeff White, Vice President of Marketing and Development for Physicians Health Choice.

Physicians Health Choice is a Medicare Advantage Organization that is contracted with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide health plans to Medicare-eligible individuals. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, Physicians Health Choice began operations in 2005 as a subsidiary of WellMed Medical Management, Inc.- a medical management company with more than 18 years of experience providing quality medical care to older adults in San Antonio and Austin, Texas and along Florida’s Treasure Coast.

Today, Physicians Health Choice offers more than 30 Medicare Advantage health plans to more than 19,000 members across the southern United States, including Austin, Corpus Christi, El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas; Las Cruces and Alamogordo, New Mexico; Little Rock, Arkansas and Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach, Florida. The company’s mission is to change the face of health care delivery for seniors.

HealthMetrix Research Inc. also recently awarded Physicians Health Choice with MedicareWebWatch certification for their websites and MedicareWebWatch certification recognizes excellence in Medicare plan website content, connectivity, design and privacy assurance.

HealthMetrix Research Inc. has provided independent information to a national audience of managed care organizations and consumers since 1996. The COSTSHARE REPORT is the most current analysis of Medicare plan cost-sharing available. HealthMetrix Research Inc. neither recommends nor endorses specific Medicare managed care plans.
The Senior Choice Gold Award is based on independent comparisons of the approved 2010 MA-PD plan benefits for Humana, Physicians Health Choice, Scott and White, Secure Horizons, and Texas Community Care. For comparison details, visit Reprinted with permission and distributed by Physicians Health Choice. Medicare has neither reviewed, nor endorses, this information.


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