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Published in Health Care

HAP expands care network in West Michigan as part of statewide growth strategy

BY Thursday, November 17, 2022 05:07pm

Health Alliance Plan has extended its care network on the west side of the state under new contracts with care providers.

The physician-hospital organization at Holland Hospital and Grand Rapids-based Answer Health, a network of more than 400 independent physicians in 24 counties from Kalamazoo to Petoskey, both join HAP’s care network starting Jan. 1, 2023. Their contracts are for people enrolled in HAP’s Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO plans.

Michael Genord COURTESY PHOTO

Mary Free Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids and McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital both joined the Detroit-based HAP’s care network Oct. 1.

The deal with Mary Free Bed includes HAP’s Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO plans; commercial group and individual HMO and PPO policies; and self-funded plans managed by the Grand Rapids-based ASR Health Benefits, a HAP wholly-owned subsidiary. The contract covers Mary Free Bed’s 23 facilities and 197 providers across the state.

At McLaren Greater Lansing, the contract for HAP’s Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO plans, commercial group and individual HMO and PPO policies, and Medicaid plans covers 125 care providers.

The care network extensions are part of HAP’s strategy to grow statewide and add 25 health care facilities and nearly 900 health care providers to its network.

“HAP’s ongoing commitment is to provide the most exceptional consumer experience and that includes convenient access to the care our members want and need,” President and CEO Michael Genord said in an announcement. “By adding high-quality doctors and hospitals to HAP’s already extensive network of providers, we are making it even easier for members to get the care they need, when and where they need it. This is especially important for Medicare beneficiaries who are shopping for a plan right now that will meet their individual health care needs in the new year.”

HAP has 430,000 members statewide enrolled in commercial, individual, Medicare and Medicaid policies. The health plan also signed a provider contract with Scheurer Health in Pigeon that operates clinics in the Thumb area.

In looking to grow across the state, the Henry Ford Health-owned HAP looks to compete more with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Grand Rapids-based Priority Health that collectively control much of the market across the state.

An annual report by the American Medical Association that ranked Michigan as the second-least competitive state for health coverage shows Blue Cross Blue Shield held 68 percent of the market in 2021. Blue Cross Blue Shield was the leader, often by wide margins, in all 14 metropolitan statistical areas listed in this year’s AMA report.

The statewide market shares include HMO, PPO, point-of-service, and individual health plans sold on health exchanges. Priority Health was second statewide with a 12-percent market share.

In the Grand Rapids MSA, the most competitive market in the state, Blue Cross Blue Shield held a 55-percent market share to Priority Health’s 30 percent, according to the AMA. Blue Cross Blue Shield had a 70-percent market share in the Kalamazoo area and commercial carrier UnitedHealth Group was second at 14 percent.

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