Ferguson patients have questions after acquisition

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

SIKESTON — Following last week’s announcement of Saint Francis Healthcare System’s acquisition of Ferguson Medical Group, the No. 1 concern for many of the Sikeston-based group’s patients is whether their insurance will be accepted when the changeover is complete.  

For several Sikeston-area residents, their current insurance coverage includes Ferguson Medical Group but excludes the Saint Francis Healthcare System, leaving them to wonder what the change will mean to their coverage when Ferguson joins Saint Francis on Jan. 1, 2019.

According to Saint Francis Healthcare System marketing officials, as of Tuesday, nothing had been finalized regarding insurance coverage, and discussions were still taking place.

“Since the merger will not be complete until Jan. 1, 2019, Ferguson Medical Group will continue to accept current insurance plans until the transfer is complete,” said an official with Saint Francis marketing. “Both Saint Francis and Ferguson Medical Group maintain relationships with most major health plans in the area. Where Saint Francis is out-of-network, we continually evaluate our health plan partnerships and will be open to new discussions.”

Individuals may share their concerns with their human resource departments or benefit administrators to ensure that Saint Francis and Ferguson Medical Group providers are within network, Saint Francis marketing said.

Saint Francis Healthcare System will add more than 40 Ferguson providers to the hospital’s system, according to its marketing department. The Healthcare System and the medical group jointly made the announcement in an emailed news release Thursday.

Such a merger will benefit both health care organizations and their patients throughout the region, the release said.

“One of the goals of this merger includes joint physician and provider recruitment to ensure adequate medical resources for communities across Southeast Missouri. Ferguson’s health professionals will gain direct access to Saint Francis’ powerful resources, state-of-the-art facilities, integrated medical record and larger network of physicians and advanced practice professionals,” the news release said.

As more information is available, Saint Francis and Ferguson Medical Group will send additional updates to media outlets, Saint Francis marketing said. 

Ferguson Medical Group has served communities in Southeast Missouri for nearly 60 years. The group was organized in 1959 by Dr. Wilson J. Ferguson, along with three associate physicians. 

Since its establishment, the group has grown to include more than 40 providers, including physicians, midlevel providers and behavioral health specialists, according to the release. The medical group provides services at eight locations in the region, including Cape Girardeau. 

The Healthcare System is anchored by Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau and supported by nearly 2,800 employees and more than 250 providers in eight communities, the release said.

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