ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The health plan arm of the U.S.-based Mayo Clinic will manage the care of employees of Don Chalmers Ford, a new business collaboration that an Albuquerque insurance broker said brings a new layer of competition to the state’s health insurance marketplace.
In an alignment with Lovelace Health System, Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic Health Solutions will handle claims processing and billing, member services, organize provider networks and manage other health care logistics for the Rio Rancho car dealership.
This is Mayo’s first foray in New Mexico offering health plan administration services.
The agreement was about a year in development, said Jamie Cox, managing partner with the Axcess Financial Group, the insurance broker who helped arrange the health coverage option for her client, Don Chalmers Ford. About 200 employees and dependents in the Albuquerque area will be covered under the arrangement. Chalmers is self insured, meaning it covers health costs and risks itself rather than buying insurance from an outside insurer.
Cox said she expects to get quotes for other employer-clients that might want to consider Mayo Clinic Health Solutions in their roster of health insurance options, which locally include such players as Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico, Presbyterian Health Plan, UnitedHealthcare and New Mexico Health Connections, among others.
Cox said Mayo, which bids for business from companies with 50 or more employees, unveiled its health coverage management expertise at a large broker event at Lovelace last year.
“They are targeting the small-employer group market,” said Cox. “It’s a great opportunity to associate with the high-quality Mayo name,” she said.
The Chalmers dealership was a particularly good fit for Mayo, she added.
“We felt Mayo was an excellent partner to complement the innovative spirit in health care that Don Chalmers Ford has championed the last 12 years with their on-site nurse,” said Cox.
According to Gary Housley, general manager of Don Chalmers Ford, “When Axcess brought Mayo Clinic Health Solutions to our table, we felt like that was a good next step for our plan and employees’ health.”
Bill Mascolo, vice president of network development for Lovelace Health System, said Lovelace providers and facilities will be the bricks-and-mortar component of the business partnership.
Not only will Lovelace be the tier one provider of care through its medical group, it will also connect Chalmers patients to its affiliated institutions, such as the Heart Institute. For more complex care, Chalmers employees could also access medical service in places like Scottsdale, where Mayo operates a major hospital.
“The agreement combines the national proficiency and expertise of Mayo Clinic Health Solutions with excellence in local medical care through Lovelace Health System,” said Dr. Greg Couser, chief medical officer of Mayo Clinic Health Solutions, in a prepared statement.