CHRISTUS Health Joins Averde's Fight Against Rising Health Costs

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CHRISTUS Health, parent company of CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System in San Antonio and CHRISTUS Spohn Health System in Corpus Christi, Texas, is collaborating with Averde HealthSM through participation in an innovative PPO network designed to hold down health care costs among consumers with high medical plan deductibles.

As health insurance premiums increase, many people compensate by buying less expensive policies with high deductibles. However, that can leave them owing thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for medical expenses, which doctors and hospitals must spend increasing amounts to recover. Consequently, that helps to drive up health care costs even more.

Averde CEO Tom Policelli explained, "In the past, people who had insurance could still find themselves owing thousands of dollars as a result of their health plan's high deductibles, often with no way to pay their medical bills. The end result is often patients acquiring huge medical debts, the need for health care providers to write off more accounts each year, and consumer prices rising to compensate for it all. That can become a vicious cycle, and Averde believes it has an answer that can save money for everyone involved."

Under the new agreement, CHRISTUS Health and several other health systems in Texas - one of Averde's newest target markets - are guaranteed full payment of balances including coinsurance and deductibles for health plan members who subscribe to use Averde's network. In return, patients who are enrolled in Averde's network are assured that if they need it, they will have access to automatic credit to pay their medical bills. Currently, Averde sells its network based product to individuals and employer groups in a growing number of markets throughout the country.

About Averde Health - Averde Health is building networks across the country, and has customer commitments in more than 20 markets in the next year. Averde offers health care providers the assurance that they will promptly be paid all they are owed. Averde offers patients easier-to-understand paperwork and guaranteed access to credit to pay medical bills if needed. For more information, on Averde Health, please visit http://www.averdehealth.com

About CHRISTUS Health - CHRISTUS Health, an international Catholic, faith-based, not-for-profit health system, is headquartered in Dallas and is comprised of almost 350 services and facilities, including more than 50 hospitals and long-term care facilities, 175 clinics and outpatient centers, and dozens of other health ministries and ventures in more than 60 cities in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Georgia, New Mexico, Utah and Mexico. The system employs more than 28,000 Associates--including 9,000 physicians on facility medical staffs--that provide care and support for patients. CHRISTUS Health is listed among the top ten Catholic health systems in the U.S. For more information, visit http://www.christushealth.org

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Roberta (Bert) Wachtelhausen
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