St. David’s HealthCare Hospitals Join the Averde Health Network

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Patients in Austin’s St David’s HealthCare system will have access to a revolutionary payment model that makes high-deductible health benefits practical for families.

Averde Health and St. David’s HealthCare announce their partnership in an innovative healthcare network designed to hold down health care costs for consumers with high medical plan deductibles. Under this agreement, members in Averde plans will gain access to the six Austin-area St. David’s HealthCare hospitals, which include St. David’s Medical Center, St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center, St. David’s Georgetown Hospital and St David’s Rehabilitation Hospital.

Averde’s network product is available to individuals and employers that offer high-deductible plans to their employees and can achieve savings of up to 10 to 20%. Until now, patients with high-deductible policies often faced difficulty paying their up-front share of healthcare costs. That meant that doctors and hospitals lost money, either through unpaid medical bills or because they had to hire collections companies.

Averde Health improves providers’ cash flow by promising to pay fully and quickly, thus eliminating any collections costs. When providers submit their clean claims for covered services to Averde within 60 days, they will be paid 100% of the contracted amount, including coinsurance and deductibles, and only have to collect standard office visit copays. An added benefit is a reduction in lost office visits from patients who may be embarrassed by unpaid medical bills. Averde collects from its members, and can offer flexible repayment terms including manageable payment plans through payroll deductions.

Averde founder and CEO Tom Policelli explains, “Our objective is to completely change the way healthcare is paid for and to bring together doctors, employers and consumers. We have found a win-win formula that makes more money for providers, holds down healthcare costs for employers and consumers, and simplifies paperwork for everybody.”

Texas, with the second-highest number of high-deductible plans in the nation, is among the first states in which the Averde network is operating. San Antonio, Corpus Christi and Beaumont went live for new sales on April 1. Averde expects to expand into Dallas and Houston before year’s end.

Policelli remarked, “The fit with Texas, and especially Austin, is nearly perfect. Austin is young, health-conscious, well educated and highly entrepreneurial. That’s exactly who can benefit most from what Averde offers.”

About Averde Health - Averde Health was founded by visionary health insurance executives who recognized the need for a better health care model that puts them in partnership with doctors and hospitals while allowing patients a simple way to manage their health care expenses. By solving problems for health care providers, Averde drives administrative costs out of the system, and helps hold down costs. For more information, please visit http://www.averdehealth.com.

About St. David’s HealthCare - With more than 60 sites across Central Texas, St. David’s HealthCare includes six of the area’s leading hospitals and is one of the largest health systems in Texas. Known for compassionate, high-quality care, the organization has been recognized with the Texas Award for Performance Excellence, the highest honor bestowed by the State of Texas based upon world-class quality measures. Ranked in 2007, 2008 and 2009 as the top Austin-area employer among large companies at the Austin Business Journal’s annual “Best Places to Work” event, St. David's HealthCare is the fifth-largest private employer in the Austin area, with more than 6,700 employees and $3.1 billion in annual gross revenues. For more information, please visit http://www.StDavids.com.

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Roberta Wachtelhausen
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