The first of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas’ medical centers is now open in Richardson as the insurer moves into the provider space with 10 new facilities statewide in a partnership with Sanitas Medical Center. The clinics provide holistic primary care in partnership with Sanitas USA, a branch of the Spain-based provider that has several clinics in Florida, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
The new clinic is part of a larger consolidation movement across the region and nation in the healthcare industry. Providers have developed their own partnerships with insurers, employers directly contract with providers, and insurers become providers, all in an effort to improve efficiency without reducing service. The clinics are also part of the value-based care movement, where providers are paid based on outcomes and quality rather than the fee-for-service model.
The clinics have been met with some resistance, as they may compete with other physician offices who are in Blue Cross’ network already. But Blue Cross’ Chief Medical Officer Paul Hain, says the clinics are meant to augment current providers, especially considering Texas’ physician shortage. “The reality is that we are always short of primary care doctors in Texas,” he says. “This is not an attempt to compete; it was an addition that was carefully thought out.”
“To address the gaps and fragmentation in care that create barriers to good health, our goal with this collaboration is to provide value-based primary care to increase the opportunities for coordinated, high-quality health outcomes for our members,” said Dr. Dan McCoy, president of BCBSTX via release. “Primary care physicians are the cornerstone of optimal health care outcomes. They, in combination with their team of other healthcare professionals, help members and their families deal with the majority of their healthcare needs, navigate the healthcare system and coordinate care with the right specialists when care is needed outside a primary care setting.”
The 10 clinics will open over the next several months in North Texas and near Houston, and will provide primary care, urgent care, lab and imaging, care coordination, and wellness and disease management. Bilingual doctors and staff as well as Blue Cross customer service representatives will also be part of the care team. The clinics will also accept self-pay patients and traditional Medicare coverage.
“We’re excited to collaborate with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas to bring our high-value, patient-centered care to Texas,” said Sergio Martinez, Global CEO, Keralty Group, the parent company of Sanitas USA via release. “We believe patients will appreciate the convenience our centers provide through expanded services, extended hours including weekends and mobile access to our doctors.”
In North Texas, other Sanitas clinics will be in Irving, Las Colinas, and Mesquite.