FAQs - CHI St. Joseph and Texas A&M Health Network
Why did CHI St. Joseph Health and Texas A&M University partner?
CHI St. Joseph Health and Texas A&M Health Science Centerhave collaborated about the health and wellness of the Brazos Valley area for over 20 years. The two organizations share similar values around improving the health and quality of life of the communities they serve through research, education and innovation in healthcare. In 2017, we began discussions with Texas A&M University about how to fundamentally improve the manner in which healthcare is being delivered in the Brazos Valley area. We have developed a detailed and actionable plan to fulfill this mission
What are the details of the partnership?
- CHI St. Joseph Health and Texas A&M College of Medicine will now have a co-branded primary care network, making CHI St. Joseph Health the primary clinical partner for Texas A&M University.
- The two organizations hope to work together to become more clinically integrated, which will further enhance the quality of care and ease of access for our patients.
- As two long-standing community partners, CHI St.Joseph Health and Texas A&M University are committed to developing and improving a workforce of health professionals throughout the Brazos Valley
- The partnership will also offer Texas A&M University System employees a significant reduction in health insurance costs through new, lower cost voluntary options in their network benefit plan.
- This collaboration will allow Texas A&M University medical students increased opportunities with local providers for education and training.
What does this partnership mean for both organizations in the short term?
Right now, both CHI St. Joseph Health and Texas A&M Health Science Center are operating in a “business as usual” fashion, continuing our patient-centric focus and serving the Brazos Valley community.
Who approved this decision?
CHI National, CHI Texas Division, CHI St.Joseph Health and The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved the decision. We are confident this partnership is in the best interest of our patients, employees and the community.
Who stands to benefit from this partnership?
The Brazos Valley area residents will first and foremost benefit from this partnership. The partnership will help bring better services and patient care to the community.
Will CHI St. Joseph Health gain or lose services as a result of this partnership?
CHI St. Joseph’s pledge to the community is to provide the highest quality of health care possible. This partnership will reinforce the programs and services already in place and strengthen the commitment of world-class healthcare from CHI St. Joseph Health and Texas A&M University.
What does this partnership mean to the market and market share?
CHI St. Joseph Health has had the privilege of being the market leader in the Brazos Valley area for many years now. It is the ultimate goal of this partnership with Texas A&M University that CHI St. Joseph Health will not only retain its standing within the community, but also deliver the high quality healthcare and patient services that residents have come to expect from us.
What steps will CHI St. Joseph Health and Texas A&M Health Science Center take to ensure a smooth transition?
Our diverse and robust due diligence teams are working hard to identify best practices to make sure the implementation of our priority initiatives will run as smoothly as possible for everyone involved.
What sort of management and staff changes will occur as a result of this partnership?
The nature of this partnership will not require shifts in leadership and duplicated roles, so as of now, no management or staff changes will occur in the foreseeable future.
Will we keep the CHI St. Joseph Health identity or will the brand change?
CHI St. Joseph Health and Texas A&M Health Science Center will now have a co-branded primary care network. Clinics will remain wholly owned and operated by CHI St. Joseph Health but will be identified as clinics for teaching.
Will CHI St. Joseph Health’s quality of patient care be affected as a result of this partnership?
The purpose of our partnership is to enhance patient care and service quality for the Brazos Valley area. Together, Texas A&M University and CHI St. Joseph Health will meet the healthcare needs of the Brazos Valley area more quickly and efficiently through increased resources and innovative services.
How will this impact my health insurance plan?
- Texas A&M University System employees will have a significant reduction in health insurance costs through new, lower cost voluntary options in their network benefit plan due to the relationship with CHI St. Joseph Health.
- The plan features a 75 percent reduction in primary care co-pays, a 50 percent reduction in specialty care co-pays and a 50 percent reduction in co-insurance costs at all of CHI St. Joseph Health’s locations
- The discounted pricing for Texas A&M system employees on their insurance benefits is a lower priced plan by the TAMU system. CHI St. Joseph Health pricing is not changing as a result of this change.
- Current insurance benefit network options for Texas A&M University System employees will not being changed or restricted by this new offering with CHI St. Joseph Health.
Where does CHI St. Joseph Health have Primary Care clinics?
- The CHI St. Joseph Texas A&M Health Network includes 16 primary care clinics, including pediatrics, housing 47 providers across nine counties in the Brazos Valley. Expert specialists and ancillary services such as imaging, lab work and therapy services are also available across the region.
- CHI St. Joseph Health has Primary Care Clinics all across the Brazos Valley. In Bryan-College Station alone, there are ten primary care and pediatric locations. Visit our website to find all of our convenient locations: CHIStJoseph.org.
- All of our physicians are board-certified, have convenient office hours, offer same-day appointments, and work closely with our Express Care providers for the times when you just can't make it to their office. Additionally, lab and imaging services are onsite or nearby each location.
How will this impact CHI St. Joseph Health’s contribution to the community?
We will help lower costs and improve the overall quality of care provided to the Brazos Valley community, including rural populations, and our respective entities. We will improve patients’ access to care by extending students and providers beyond the hospitals and clinics, moving them out into homes and other care settings. Together, we will improve care coordination across the continuum for the patients we treat.
Am I required to use CHI St. Joseph providers?
Each time you need to go to the doctor or health care facility, you have a choice of providers, either in or out of the new preferred provider tier. If you decide to keep your current provider (and they are not affiliated with CHI St. Joseph Health), there will be no changes to your current costs and copays.
If I do decide to use a CHI St. Joseph provider, must I keep using that physician?
Each time you need service, you may change your choice if you wish.
Do I need to change my network plan?
No. All options are within the A&M Care Plan. You do not have to change plans to take advantage of these reductions.
How can I figure out who the lower-cost providers are?
At present, you can look for CHI St. Joseph providers. Physicians who are part of the CHI St. Joseph doctor’s group, those with a CHI St. Joseph contract and Texas A&M University Health Science Center physicians will have the lower cost and copay. Beginning September 1, you will see these network providers clearly differentiated on the BlueCross BlueShield Provider Finder under the Brazos Valley Network.
How much can I save by visiting a CHI St. Joseph Health provider?
The CHI St. Joseph and Texas A&M Health Network features a 75 percent reduction in primary care co-pays, a 50 percent reduction in specialty care co-pays and a 50 percent reduction in co-insurance costs at all of CHI St. Joseph Health’s locations throughout the Brazos Valley. This translates to employee out-of-pocket costs for physicians and facilities contracted with CHI St. Joseph and Texas A&M of a $5 copay for a primary care physician, a $15 copay for a specialist and a 10% coinsurance for other costs such as a hospitalization. All other coverage will be the same.
Why is the A&M System doing this?
The opportunity to partner with the Texas A&M Health Science Center, Texas A&M University and one of the region’s local hospitals and physician groups leverages our unique strengths in the community, offers an excellent training environment for health sciences students, and is also an opportunity to provide a new benefit to our employees and retirees.
What if I live in the Brazos Valley but use a provider outside the Brazos Valley?
You will be responsible for the normal A&M Care Plan copays, deductibles and coinsurance.
What if I live outside the Brazos Valley?
If you live outside of the Brazos Valley and you need or want to come to the Brazos Valley for care, you will get the lower cost for care from the network providers. Even though the new network benefits are available to all employees and retirees in the A&M Care Plan, the emphasis is in Bryan-College Station for a number of reasons. The home campus of the Texas A&M Health Sciences Center is located in Bryan, TX, allowing our students to train within CHI St. Joseph’s system, increasing health care access for many in our community. The Brazos Valley is also home to the majority of employees and retirees. Our partnership will lower costs and improve care for these employees and retirees. When we lower the health care costs in the Brazos Valley, all System employees will benefit, as we are self-insured.