Local News

Sep 23, 2010 9:24 PM by Nancy Chen

CCPN vs. SLO Select: Choosing healthcare plan confuses local state employees

A local battle over healthcare is heating up--and you could be in the middle of it.

Two physicians' networks--SLO Select and CCPN--are competing for the healthcare dollars of local government workers during their open enrollment period.

SLO Select was the only option until last year, when CCPN became an option, too.

Choosing the wrong one could mean losing your favorite doctor.

"It is confusing," said Terri Medzyk, who visited the San Luis Obispo County Health Fair. "It's hard, and we're making decisions about our health and our families' health."

Anyone who's looked at the paper recently has seen giant ads from both SLO Select and CCPN.

It comes down to a choice of who you want your doctor to be and what hospital you prefer.

SLO Select has more than 200 physicians in its network. It usually sends their patients to French Hospital and Arroyo Grande Community Hospital.

SLO Select says they're locally-owned and paint CCPN as a big outsider.

"There's a new organization that has, that is willing to come into our community and bring a lot of assets in our community to build a business of their choice," said Barbara Cheever, the executive director of SLO Select.

CCPN came to this market about four years ago, and more and more physicians are starting to sign with their group.

They now have about four hundred doctors and usually send their patients to Sierra Vista and Twin Cities Community Hospital.

In one ad, SLO Select claims CCPN is luring doctors away with "very large bonuses".

"I thought that was a bit contradictory with our competition's piece," said Robert O'Keefe, the CEO of CCPN. "They talk about keeping healthcare dollars in the community. Well, bonusing and incentivizing physicians--I can't think of a better way of keeping dollars in the community."

Even if you pick a doctors' group without a direct contract with a hospital, specialized care there should still be available.

You can bypass choosing a doctors' group if you decide to pick a PPO instead.

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