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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS | ORANGE COUNTY BRIEFLY

St. Joseph to Drop 110,000 PacifiCare Members

November 18, 2000|Marc Ballon

About 90,000 members of PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. will lose access to the hospitals and doctors of Orange-based St. Joseph Health System on June 30, the two organizations announced. An additional 20,000 seniors belonging to Secure Horizons, the Medicare HMO run by Santa Ana-based PacifiCare, will no longer have access to St. Joseph facilities as of March 31. That means PacifiCare members now seeing St. Joseph doctors must either change health plans or switch physicians before the termination dates. Squeezed by low-paying managed-care systems, St. Joseph has dropped 11 HMOs and renewed contracts with only five. St Joseph said last month it was losing $45 million annually on HMO contracts. The group runs several physician groups and three hospitals, including St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton. Questions should be directed to the St. Joseph patient service center at (800) 880-8027, Secure Horizons member services at (800) 228-2144 and PacifiCare member services at (800) 624-8822.

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