Good Shepherd Signs Healthcare Agreement

POSTED: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 - 7:18pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 12:00pm

LONGVIEW - The people of Longview will be happy to know they now have a choice when it comes to healthcare, at no extra cost.

President and CEO of Good Shepherd, Ed Banos said, "Over the past year a lot of people in town have been looking for choice in healthcare and they don't want to be in a pigeon hold to one provider."

That's why Good Shepherd is now in agreement with Healthsmart and Aetna Health Insurance..

The new contract says any patient under these two providers can choose which Longview hospital they want to go to.

Karen Ralph said, "I think its important to choose because I want to go to a doctor I want to go to and I'd like to go to one here locally and not have to go clear to Dallas or Tyler."

This is something officials at Longview Regional have been pulling for as well.

CEO, Jim Kendrick said, "We want to get the hospitals away from battling over contracts as opposed to focusing on patient quality, care and satisfaction."

Hospital officials say Aetna and Healthsmart provide health coverage for 126 Gregg County employers and about 13,000 other East Texans.

Kendrick said, "The patient has a choice and the patient is choosing off service and quality, did you get great service?"

This change is also beneficial for both hospitals.

Banos said, "Its good for the hospital in being able to provide more service to more people."

More people like Karen Ralph who now have a choice.

Ralph said, "I'd like to get the same service where ever I go, I'd like to be treated the same way, so it would be nice."

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